US Navy Is Pretty Mad About Iran's Crying Sailor Video
New propaganda video uses footage of detained sailors
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 2:17 PM CST

(Newser) – Iran's state television has released a new propaganda video that includes images of a US sailor crying while in Iran's custody—and the US Navy is not happy. "We are disgusted by the exploitation of our sailors in Iranian propaganda," says Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, spokesperson for Naval Forces Central Command, per the Navy Times. The crying sailor and other images in the video (including a shot of the soldiers kneeling with their hands behind their heads, per ABC News) were taken while Iran briefly held 10 US sailors in January after they accidentally strayed into Iranian waters. "The detention of our personnel was outrageous and unacceptable," Stephens' statement continues.

Legal experts have said the detention by Iran likely violated the sailors' "innocent passage" rights under international law, and Stephens says Iran should have instead simply escorted the sailors out of Iranian waters. "Professional mariners understand that it is a duty and obligation to assist other mariners who suffer mechanical problems or who find themselves off track at sea," he says, adding that the US Navy has helped Iranian mariners who were in distress seven times since 2012. "It's outrageous and unacceptable that our sailors were held at gunpoint and detained."