Iranian lawmakers have praised naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) who captured US sailors trespassing on Iran’s territorial waters last month.
During a ceremony in the Iranian parliament (Majlis) on Monday, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi and other commanders and members of the naval force involved in the operation were awarded certificates of appreciation in acknowledgement of their efforts.
During the session, Fadavi briefed the lawmakers on the operation that led to the arrest of the American sailors.
IRGC naval forces arrested 10 US sailors after their patrol boats entered the country’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on January 12.
The following day, the IRGC announced that ten US Marines were released after Americans apologized for the incident.
The two US Navy crafts carrying the 10 Marines had drifted three miles into the waters surrounding the Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. The trespassing occurred because of technical problems with the navigation systems of the American vessels.
In his Monday address to the Iranian parliament, Fadavi said there is still more video footage regarding the arrest, adding that “if the Americans’ acts of malevolence continue, we will release them.”
On January 13, Iran released a video showing the moment the ten US sailors were arrested.
The footage showed US sailors on their knees with their hands on their heads. It also showed weapons seized by Iranian officers, including assault rifles and light machine guns, along with belts of ammunition.
The release of the video irked American officials, including US Secretary of State John Kerry who said he was very “angry and frustrated” at the release of the video.
Leader confers medal on IRGC commanders
On Sunday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei awarded the ‘Fat'h’ (Victory) medal to Fadavai along with four other high-ranking commanders for arresting the intruding US sailors.
The Fat'h medal is among the highest honors that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution can bestow on a military commander. It is rarely awarded.
Following the arrest of the US sailors, Ayatollah Khamenei on January 24 commended as timely and praiseworthy the “brave” move by the IRGC naval forces.
The Leader stated that the praiseworthy measure by the IRGC forces stemmed from their faith and courage and was taken in the right time, adding that the capture of the US sailors “was in fact an act of God, who brought the Americans into our waters so they would be arrested with their hands on their heads through your timely measure.”