Navy investigation details detainment of American personnel, which violated international law
Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp Navy interrogated the U.S. crewmembers individually to obtain information about U.S. forces, according to the declassified investigation findings released Thursday. Iran’s detention of the American personnel overnight on Jan. 12 violated international law and sovereign immunity, investigators concluded.
“Interrogators employed intimidation tactics such as slapping the table, spinning the captive’s chair, or threatening to move them to the Iranian mainland; no crewmember was harmed,” the findings state.
Iranian personnel demanded to know what the U.S. boats were doing wading into Iranian territorial waters, where they came from, and “where their ‘mothership’ was.” The Iranians interrogated the crewmembers as a group and later individually interrogated seven of the 10 Americans in a separate room. The sole female crewmember’s interrogation was also recorded.
The Iranians asked questions about U.S. forces and also collected passwords to the sailors’ personal phones and laptops during their overnight detention.
“Crewmembers response strategies and actual answers varied; some were honest while others lied or played dumb,” the findings state.
Some crewmembers provided information such as their name, rank, and serial number when asked.
The Iranians gave food to the American crewmembers and attempted to film them when they began to eat.
Iran’s navy further breached the principle of sovereign immunity by boarding, searching, and seizing the boats, and replacing the United States flag with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps flag. Iran also violated the principle by detaining, searching, and video recording the American crews, investigators concluded.
Iranian state media have published images and video of the sailors in captivity, including pictures of one of the captured sailors appearing to cry during detention. A video released by Iranian state television showed one of the sailors, who was later identified by news sources as Lt. David Nartker, apologizing for entering Iranian territorial waters and thanking the Iranians for their “hospitality.”
Full article: Iran Used ‘Intimidation Tactics’ on American Sailors (Washington Free Beacon)