Khamenei awards medals to Iran soldiers who captured U.S. sailors

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Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei awarded medals to Iranian forces for their “courageous and timely” capture of American boats and sailors last month.

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei meets with IRGC troops that captured US sailors. /Iran government via Twitter.
Ayatollah Khamenei meets with IRGC troops who captured U.S. sailors. /Iran government/Twitter

Navy Commander Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi and four other Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders were awarded the “Order of Fath” (Conquest) by Khamenei, the Tasnim news agency reported.

“Your move was very excellent, interesting, and timely,” the supreme leader said.

Analysts say Khamenei’s awarding of the medals is another embarrassment for the Obama administration over the Jan. 12 incident. Iran said the 10 U.S. sailors who were detained were only freed after an apology from the Obama administration, which the White House denied.

Awarding the medals is also seen as a reflection of the supreme leader’s rhetoric against the U.S., which he continues to call “the Great Satan”. He also accused the U.S. of using “money and sexual attractions” to disrupt the Islamic Republic’s way of life.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said on Jan. 18 that Iran will soon unveil new domestically-designed and manufactured missiles in defiance of new American sanctions.