McCain may subpoena sailors detained by Iran

Special to

Saying Obama administration officials are “dragging their feet” on the investigation of Iran’s detention of 10 U.S. sailors, Sen. John McCain said he may subpoena the sailors.

Sen. John McCain
Sen. John McCain

“I guarantee you, if they don’t have a debrief by the first of March like they said, we’ll have a hearing and we’ll subpoena,” McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Service Committee, said on Feb. 14.

“We’re not going to wait any longer,” McCain said. “We will subpoena the individuals if we have to.”

The sailors were detained by the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) after their two patrol boats strayed into Iranian waters on Jan. 12. U.S. officials later blamed a navigational problem.

Issuing subpoenas to the sailors is “an option that I do not want to exercise,” McCain said. The senator said he was told the sailors were still being debriefed, but added that he felt Obama administration members were “dragging their feet” in completing their investigation into the incident, which he said Iran was using for propaganda purposes.

McCain said he raised the case in a meeting on Feb. 13 with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, Germany.