U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on January 28 that he felt "very, very angry" about Iran's videotaping of American sailors surrendering aboard their boats in the Persian Gulf earlier this month.
The video of 10 Americans on their knees with their hands on the heads surrounded by Iranian troops created a sensation in U.S. Republican circles, where it was seen as symbolic of the White House's acquiescence to Iran on the landmark nuclear deal and other matters recently.
The U.S. sailors were detained for crossing inadvertently into Iranian territorial waters on January 12 but were quickly released.
Carter said that if the circumstances were reversed, U.S. forces would not have videotaped captured Iranian sailors.
"This is not the way they should have been treated, and it’s very, for certain, not the way that Americans would have treated foreign sailors in a comparable circumstance,” he said.