Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) laid out a defense for Iran capturing U.S. Navy sailors during a Senate hearing Wednesday with Secretary of State John Kerry.
During the hearing for the State Department’s budget, Leahy asked Kerry what would have happened if the tables had been reversed in January.
“If we had an Iranian boat, warship, military, either boat or ship, armed Iranians on it, say it came, uh, along the coastal and pick a place within our waters, say South Carolina, and was well within the U.S. borders, perhaps had the engines stopped, but armed Iranians, would we not at least hold them until we found out what they were doing?” Leahy asked.
“Well, of course we would have taken them into custody. You know, I don’t believe under any circumstances we would have put them on display the way they were put on display,” Kerry said referencing the photos and videos the Iranians took of the American sailors.
“I understand that, but we would have at least—” Leahy said.
“They clearly would have been taken into custody and we would have dealt with them straightforwardly under any circumstances. I am convinced of that. Upholding all international law and all standards of decency,” Kerry said.
This is not the first time an American politician has said something to this effect. Retired Admiral and Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Joe Sestak, said that he believes that the Iranians were restrained in the way they acted.