Tuesday Iran’s capture of 10 United States sailors set off a firestorm for a lot of United States officials as they debated what happened and tried to get this figured out. Meetings in both Washington and Tehran were booming with anxious officials who wanted to make sure this incident would not affect the newest nuclear accord deal they had been fighting to finish and working on for quite some time. The accord is something that would prove to be of great worth between the two countries and cool down the hostilities.
It eventually came down to Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif who had been working together over the past few months to get the new agreement hammered out between the two countries. The two of them became close during that time in the close quarters of sliding this deal through. As both countries struggled to get the full details of the affair, the two men worked it out the best way they could.
Both of them spoke over the phone a reported five times. Meanwhile Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was investigating what happened and wanted to make sure it the U.S had entered their Iranian waters on purpose. There was multiple meetings surround this drama in both capitals. At the heart of all of this were the two men who had worked so hard to ignite a new relationship. They were not going to let this be undone by the incident.
Timing is Everything
The drama in the gulf was unfolding right before the annual State of the Union in front of Congress. Right away Kerry rushed to his room to deal with the fallout of this and spared no time in trying to fix a potential catastrophe.
Fortunately it was reported that the supreme leader decreed “After making sure there were no evil intentions from the sailors’ side, Leader Khamenei gave the green light for the release of sailors”
The sailors were released from the island and were unharmed, It was reported that there was no government to government apology from either side or to Tehran. During the capturing it was broadcast on Iranian television and one of the sailors apologized and said that it was just an accident for them entering the waters.
A similar incident like this one once occurred in March of 2007. Many might not remember but 15 British sailors were captured in Iran on the waters that were considered their territory. Instead of the 24 hours it took for the Americans to be released, it took 13 days before the President released these men under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s command. They even had a British ambassador at that point stationed in Tehran yet the communication did not stick as well as the American’s did in 2016. There was a tense 40 minutes to the capture as it was reported a US plane was flying very low and close over the island. Luckily what Kerry and Mohammad had developed together was enough to save the situation.