The Iranian regime detained 10 United States sailors to publicly embarrass America, according to retired Navy Capt. Chuck Nash.
Nine men and one woman were detained by Iranian officials for 16 hours after they drifted into Iranian waters.
Nash, now a Fox News military analyst, said in a Thursday interview on Fox’s American Newsroom the footage of a sailor apologizing was a deliberate attempt to show U.S. weakness. Nash said he believes Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the decision to release the footage because the group detaining the sailors was the Iranian Republican Guard Navy, which reports directly to Khamenei.
“This was done intentionally and it was done to further embarrass the United States” Nash said. “And to send the clear message to the Gulf Arabs: If the Americans won’t stand up for themselves, they’re certainly not going to stand up for you. We’re the big dog now.”
Nash also questioned the apologizing sailor’s training in code of conduct and rules of engagement in enemy territory. Nash said someone in that position should have been fully trained on handling enemy situations.
“If he hasn’t, I would want to know why somebody in that position was not sent through SERE (Survival Evasion, Resistance and Escape) school because he should have been and I think, had he been, he may not have been as free with the information,” Nash said, adding that no one knows the duress the sailor may have been under.
Nash’s comments are in direct contrast of those coming out of the State Department. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in an interview on Hannity the quick release of the sailors occurred because of improved relations between the U.S. and Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry issued the same comments earlier.