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Historic deal partner update: Obama admin blasts ‘unconscionable’ Iran medal ceremony

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By Doug Powers  •  February 2, 2016 11:32 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

In mid-January, the John Kerry-led State Department hailed Iran’s release of U.S. sailors they’d captured as proof of warmer relations thanks to Team Obama’s Smart Power™:

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The State Department, however, didn’t appreciate Iran’s leader later going out of his way to publicly demonstrate that the “warmer” relations are as cold as ever:

If Iran’s supreme leader awarded medals to Iranians who detained U.S. sailors during an incident in January, it’s “unconscionable,” a State Department spokesman said Monday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei awarded the Order of the Fat’h medal to Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi, the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy, as well as four commanders who seized two U.S. Navy botas and detained the sailors for 14 hours before releasing them, Reuters reported Monday after Iran’s state media reported the news one day before.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said he could not confirm whether the ayatollah doled out the awards, but condemned the possibility.

Any opportunity to rub the Obama administration’s nose in it will not go to waste:

On top of that, Iran threatened to release additional footage of the arrest of U.S. sailors:

The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy said Monday that if the U.S. seeks to humiliate Iran, the IRGC would release footage of ten U.S. sailors detained last month that is much more embarrassing than images released earlier.

Addressing Iranian lawmakers a day after being awarded a medal by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the Jan. 12-13 incident in the Persian Gulf, Sardar Fadavi also said his personnel had obtained information from the U.S. sailors’ laptops and phones.

What will Tehran demand from the White House in return for agreeing not to release any “embarrassing” footage (that may or may not even exist)? Whatever it is, they’ll probably get it.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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