Participants in a rally celebrating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution recreated scenes of Iran’s capture of 10 U.S. sailors last month.
Photos of the celebration in Tehran have been circulated on social media, showing several participants dressed like the U.S. sailors kneeling with their hands on their heads. They were surrounded by individuals, who appear to be armed, mimicking the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) personnel who arrested the sailors at gunpoint on Jan. 12.
Capturing US sailors recreated at Iran Islamic Revolution anniversary rally in Tehran. pic.twitter.com/MwRFt8slrK
— Ahmad Batebi (@abatebi) February 11, 2016
— Abas Aslani (@abasinfo) February 11, 2016
Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed Shah on Thursday.
The scenes at the rally appeared to mimic photos released by Iran state media following the sailors’ release from captivity on Jan. 13. The sailors were pictured during their detention kneeling with their hands over their heads. Other images showed the American personnel with their weapons and equipment seized.
Iran arrested the sailors in the Persian Gulf after accusing them of drifting into Iranian territorial waters.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has praised the IRGC unit that took the sailors into custody, awarding five commanders medals for their "excellent job" detaining the Americans. IRGC naval commander Admiral Ali Fadavi, one of the medal recipients, has claimed that his men took extensive information from the sailors’ laptops and cell phones.
A preliminary report on the incident from the Pentagon indicated that the Iranian military likely removed two SIM cards from the sailors’ phones.
The rally recreating the sailors’ captivity Thursday took place just after Iran published images of one of the captured American sailors crying.