Iran said planning statue of captured American sailors
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Iran said planning statue of captured American sailors

Revolutionary Guards commander tells local media that monument will be a ‘tourist attraction’

This photo released by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, shows detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran. (Sepahnews via AP)
This photo released by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, shows detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran. (Sepahnews via AP)

Iran is reportedly planning to build a statue of 10 US sailors it briefly detained in its territorial waters in January.

The head of naval forces in the country’s Revolutionary Guards said the monument would be a “tourist attraction,” Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

According to the report, the statue will be erected on Kharg, a small Iranian island in the Persian Gulf close to the site of the arrests.

The sailors, nine men and one woman, were detained in January after they drifted into Iranian waters off Farsi Island, an outpost in the middle of the Persian Gulf that has been used as a base for Revolutionary Guards speedboats since the 1980s.

“There are very many photographs of the major incident of arresting US Marines in the Persian Gulf in the media and we intend to build a symbol out of them inside one of our naval monuments,” Commander Ali Fadavi told the Iranian Defense Press news agency, the Telegraph said.

File: US sailors released by Iran on January 13, 2016, after their boats entered Iranian territorial waters the day before. (screen capture/Twitter)
File: US sailors released by Iran on January 13, 2016, after their boats entered Iranian territorial waters the day before. (screen capture/Twitter)

Tehran released the 10 sailors less than a day after it seized their two small ships. The incident set off a flurry of phone calls between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to secure the servicemen’s release.

Iran’s state television said Tuesday that the Islamic republic retrieved thousands of pages of information from devices used by the US sailors.

The report quotes Gen. Ali Razmjou, a naval commander in the Revolutionary Guards, as saying that information filling about 13,000 pages was retrieved from laptops, GPS devices and maps.

He said the move falls within Iran’s rights under international regulations, and that the information recovered could be used in “various fields.” Iranian authorities returned all the devices taken from the Americans even though it had the right to confiscate them, he said.

The Guard plans to publish a book on the incident based on international reactions and coverage of the event, Razmjou added.

The US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, which is responsible for American naval forces in the Gulf, said it was aware of the report but had no immediate comment.

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