Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday awarded medals to Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders for capturing two boats with U.S. sailors earlier this month, Iranian media reported.
His office tweeted the announcement of the awards in both English and French along with a photo of Khamenei with the military commanders, as he labeled the Americans “intruding U.S. marines,” erroneously describing them as “marines.”
Order of Fat'h given by Chief Commander of Armed forces to IRGC Navy commanders who captured intruding U.S. marines. pic.twitter.com/1gkGz2bh2p
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) January 31, 2016
Iran’s English-language Press TV reported that the “Fath” medal stands for “Victory.”
Khamenei awarded the medal to Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the IRGC Navy, along with four other commanders “for arresting the trespassing US sailors,” Press TV noted.
Reuters reported that Iran has bestowed the Fath medal to war heroes, military commanders and politicians, many of whom served during the Iran-Iraq war.
Khamenei last week attributed the U.S. boats’ entering Iranian waters to “God’s will” which forced them to “surrender.”
“He [God] drew them to our waters and brought you upon them so they put their hands behind their heads in surrender. This was God’s will,” Khamenei said last week, according to a translation by Iran’s Press TV.
Iran released the 10 sailors within a day of capturing them. Shortly after their release, Iranian media outlets broadcast images of the military personnel with their hands behind their heads.
The Navy Times suggested that Iran has been “quick to capitalize upon their captivity for propaganda purposes.”
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard freed them after determining that they had entered Iranian waters unintentionally.