Iran intends to celebrate its capture of 10 Americans sailors earlier this year by building a monument.
Admiral Ali Fadavi, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps naval commander, recently revealed the plan to erect the monument, which he said would serve as a “tourist attraction,” according to a report in London’s The Telegraph.
“There are very many photographs of the major incident of arresting U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf in the media and we intend to build a symbol out of them inside one of our naval monuments,” Fadavi reportedly told Iran’s Defense Press news agency, misidentifying the sailors as Marines.
The statue would be the latest of several instances in which Iran has celebrated the sailors’ January capture. In February, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei awarded medals to Fadavi and four other naval commanders for detaining the U.S. sailors, complimenting them on an “excellent job.” Weeks later, participants in a Tehran rally commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution imitated the sailors’ capture.
Iran arrested the sailors and their two naval craft on January 12, accusing them of drifting into Iranian territorial waters. The U.S. personnel were held overnight and released the following day, though defense officials initially said that they would be “promptly” returned.
Following their release, Iran state media published images of the sailors in custody with their weapons and equipment seized. The pictures, which showed the sailors on their knees with their hands behind their heads, sparked outrage among Republican lawmakers, though the Obama administration insisted that it was not embarrassed by the photographs.
The incident occurred just days before the official implementation day of the nuclear deal with Iran, which released billions in sanctions relief to the country.