10 US sailors arrested by Iran authorities; Experts say Iran violated an international law
Jan 29, 2016 04:30 AM EST
US legal experts said that Iran violated an international law. Just this month, 10 US sailors and their two naval craft was held and arrested by Iran authorities.
Under the right of innocence passage, the US riverine boats had the right to pass the territorial waters of Iran without any arrest as long as the cause is for military operation. Officials in the pentagon said that the US boat mistakenly entered the waters of Iran in the Persian Gulf due an error in navigation while refueling as reported by the Daily Caller.
James Kraska, a maritime law expert, said that this is very alarming for the Navy community, it means that the sovereign immunity of the vessel is not respected. He cited the UN's Convention on the law of the sea which allows warships entry through territorial waters of another country as long as it moves continually and will not make any military operation. This law subjects all ships of the state whether land locked or coastal.
A marine law expert of the Washington School of law said that Iran had the right to interrogate the sailors or expel them from their waters but never detain them. Despite what many experts see as illegal, Secretary John Kerry thanked Iran for letting the sailors go. Professor Craig Allen said that the Iran officials could have said that the sailors are no longer conducting an innocence passage and just asked them to leave but instead they hauled them to their port. In relation to this Iran has accused the sailors of spying on their waters but the Pentagon denied it.
Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader told the navy unit that they did an excellent job, he said that it was the divine intervention that sent the Americans to their territorial waters only to be captured with their hands above their heads. The arrest of the sailors just came before the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran which will be given $100 billion in sanction relief to the country.