While speaking at the National Defense University on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that "all indications" show that the 10 Navy sailors taken into Iranian custody on Tuesday "were well taken care of," and proceeded to thank the country's authorities for their cooperative and timely response.
However, also on Wednesday, after the U.S. government confirmed the release of the naval personnel, Iran state television aired several images of the sailors during their time in custody. In some of the photos, the sailors appear on their knees with their hands behind their heads, and in others, it appears they have been compelled to remove their boots. In another, a female sailor is shown wearing a headscarf.
Some, like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), were quick to criticize Kerry's statements, which McCain called "unbelievable."
Originally, Iran accused the sailors of "trespassing" and suggested they might have been spying on Iran. Gen. Ali Fadavi, the Naval chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, later said in a statement that the country's investigations showed the U.S. boats drifted into Iranian territorial waters as a result of a broken navigation system.