Growing concerns in Congress about U.S., Iran relationship

In this Nov. 15, 2014, photo, a Riverine Command Boat from Costal Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 2 escorts the USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) in the Persian Gulf. Iran was holding 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their two boats, similar to the one in this picture, on Jan. 12, 2016, after the boats had mechanical problems and drifted into Iranian waters. American officials have received assurances from Tehran that they will be returned safely and promptly. (LaTunya Howard/U.S. Navy via AP)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – New video shows the moment 10 U.S. sailors were detained by Iran on Tuesday. The sailors, along with the two ships they were captured in, were quickly returned Wednesday.

“All indications suggest or tell us… that our sailors were well taken care of,” Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Kerry credits the Obama administration’s work to rebuild a relationship with Iran for the sailors’ quick return.

“This kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved and officially resolved and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe,” he said.

Some members of Congress do not think we should be surprised Iran detained these Americans.

“It’s consistent with America’s very weak response and weak negotiations with Iran,” Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) said. “This behavior was likely to continue because that’s who they are.”

Iran in a statement called the entire situation a mistake. Iranian state TV also released a video showing one of the U.S. sailors apologizing and admitting they made a mistake.

There is growing anxiety in Congress about relations between the U.S. and Iran. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) says there some members of Congress working to push the administration to punish Iran for continuing certain programs – like Intercontinental missiles – they have promised to shut down.

“I will lead efforts that impose sanctions. Particularly on the ICBM program, which evidently is continuing in violation of international law,” Sen. Blumnethal said.

Iran claims the U.S. government apologized for the mistake, but a State Department spokesman says that’s not true.

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