Several questions must be answered:
- How, precisely, did the two boats and their personnel fall into Iranian hands, and did the initial incident take place in waters that are internationally recognized as Iranian territory?
- How were the sailors treated while detained?
- Were their boats and equipment inspected or manipulated before being returned?
- Did the U.S. offer any quid pro quo for their release? (Any gesture that U.S. officials make toward Iran in the coming weeks will almost certainly be interpreted as such.)
- And, finally, what was behind the IRGC’s release of the sailors?
I am disinclined to support the Iran deal, but I don’t agree with using this as a gratuitous excuse to derail hearings on the Iran treaty. But until or unless the above questions are answered, we cannot take at face value the statements coming from the State Department or the White House on this incident.
There will, I suspect, be a Navy inquiry into this. Those findings should be made public as a matter of national interest.