Two U.S. Navy boats and ten sailors were taken into Iranian custody Tuesday.
The Iranian military kept the sailors overnight and released them Wednesday morning. After the incident, U.S. government leaders went to the media to explain that despite 10 sailors being taken into Iranian custody, the relationship between the two nations has improved.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry rushed to thank the Iranian government for their cooperation and the hospitality they provided for the 10 sailors.
“I want to thank Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response,” Kerry said. “These are only situations which everybody here knows has an ability if not properly guided to get out of control.”
Vice President Joe Biden said Iran acted like an “ordinary nation.”
“They [the sailors] were there in distress and said they [Iran] would release them, and released them — like ordinary nations would do,” Biden said.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D, Mo.) said while the U.S. didn’t trust Iran, it had a ‘working relationship with the country.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) said the U.S.-Iran relationship was a remarkable display of diplomacy.
“It is quite remarkable. In fact, since you are asking more about it, it is a masterful work on the part of President Obama,” Pelosi said. “So from diplomatic standpoint to get us to this place was masterful.”
The State Department said that Iran’s treatment of U.S. Navy sailors could have violated the Geneva Convention because of the release of videos showed the sailors in custody. But the State Department said it didn’t know if the videos were authentic.
Government officials were not alone in their belief that the Iranian custody of 10 U.S. sailors is a sign of better relations between the two nations.