Washington Free Beacon, May 16, 2016 - A Republican congressman said the classified details surrounding Iran's treatment of U.S. sailors captured earlier this year are disturbing.
“I think that when the details actually come out, most Americans are going to be kind of taken aback by the entire incident, both how Iran handled it and how we handled it,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told The Washington Free Beacon.
“I think that’s going to be huge cause for concern for most Americans. That’s why I’ve encouraged members of Congress to get that briefing so they do know exactly what did take place.”
Forbes said the Obama administration is withholding information about how the 10 U.S. sailors were treated when they were captured earlier this year after drifting into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The sailors were detained by Iran for 15 hours.
Forbes said it could be as long as a year before that information is released, noting he had a "full classified briefing" from military officials.
“I think clearly there were violations of international and maritime law that took place here,” Forbes said, according to the news outlet.
“We did almost nothing in response, in fact, to have Secretary [of State John] Kerry actually thank them for releasing our sailors after the way they captured them, I think was a slap in the sailors’ face."
Following the incident, Kerry thanked Iran for what he called a "quick and appropriate response" to return the American sailors.
Forbes told the Free Beacon he is advocating for increased sanctions on Tehran for its treatment of the U.S. sailors and other aggressions against U.S. forces.
“The administration will not stand up and say this is just wrong,” Forbes said. “Instead of thanking them the administration should be standing up and saying its wrong.”
The U.S. response "undermines stability in the Gulf," he said.
“And they raise the danger of inadvertent escalation," he added.
“I think it goes without saying that if that’s the case and they won’t stop that activity, all of that should at least be considered and debated as part of any Iran sanctions bill that may come up in the future.”