• Earnest on 10 U.S. Sailors Being Held By Iran: These Hostilities are Why Obama Made Nuclear Deal

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces detained as many as 10 U.S. Navy sailors when one of their boats became disabled on Tuesday near Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf.

    Pentagon officials the sailors  picked up by Iran and taken to the island after their two small boats had mechanical trouble, causing one or both to run aground. The boats were headed from Bahrain to Kuwait when the Pentagon lost contact with the crews.

    It’s unclear where the sailors are now.

    The semi-official Iranian news agency, FARS, said the the sailors were trespassing in Iranian waters.

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the 10 U.S. Navy sailors that are in Iranian custody are being treated fairly.

    “Well, Jake, what I can tell you is that U.S. officials have been in touch with the Iranians about this situation. This is obviously a situation that we are monitoring closely,” Earnest said. “We have received assurance from the Iranians, both that our sailors are safe, that they are being — uh, being sort of afforded, you know the sort of care, the proper — uh, courtesy that you would expect.

    Earnest used the  incident as further justification for President Obama’s pursuit of the Iran nuclear deal.

    “What do you say to people who say Iran … fired a warning shot of sorts towards an American ship in the last couple weeks?”  Tapper asked. “They test-fired, I believe, a ballistic missile in the last few weeks, and yet in a few days, they are scheduled to have a the relief of all those sanctions. The basic question being, this does not seem like a country that is ready to be welcomed back into the community of nations.”

    “That’s right, Jake,” Earnest said.

    Earnest said the U.S. has been concerned with Iran’s destabilizing behavior over the past few decades.

    “That is why the United States and this president made it a priority to organize the international community, to reach an agreement with Iran that will prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Earnest said. “This agreement is actually the best way for us to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”


    The incident  is highly suspect because it comes hours before President Obama is set to give his final State of the Union address.

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