By Blake Neff
Iran celebrated its capture of 10 U.S. sailors earlier this month by awarding five of their captors the Fath (Victory) Medal.
Iran’s state news agency announced the awards Sunday. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei personally awarded the medals, one week after he praised the capture as “very excellent, interesting, and timely.”
Iran captured the 10 sailors Jan. 12 after their patrol boats allegedly strayed into Iranian territorial waters. They were freed the following day, but not before broadcasting footage of them in captivity with guns pointed to their heads. Iran also forced the sailors to publicly apologize for entering their waters. The stunt has been the latest incident to put strain on the recently-approved nuclear deal with Iran, but thus far President Barack Obama has refused to waiver from the deal. Just days after the capture, numerous sanctions on Iran formally ended.
The award went to Ali Fadevi, a rear admiral in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard navy, along with four lesser commanders involved in the capture operation. Besides receiving the medals, Khamenei also approved the promotion of several other figures involved in the capture.
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