Iran plans to build statue of captured US Navy sailors, commander says

Iran is planning to make its recent capture and release of U.S. Navy sailors into a “tourist attraction.”

Commander Ali Fadavi, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard naval forces, said the military is planning on building a statue of the 10 American sailors who were held for a day in January.

“There are very many photographs of the major incident of arresting U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf in the media and we intend to build a symbol out of them inside one of our naval monuments,” he told Iran’s Defense Press news agency, according to The Telegraph.

The sailors were held at gunpoint for a day and paraded in front of cameras – drawing outrage from the Obama administration -- before being released.

The statue is expected to be built on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf, near where the sailors were captured, The Telegraph reported Friday.

Iranian hardliners are under pressure after the negotiation of the nuclear deal with the U.S. – and with moderate allies of President Hassan Rouhani making gains in last month’s elections.

The construction of the statue would fit into a pattern of provocative behavior intended to show that the Revolutionary Guard is still a major force in Iran, according to the newspaper.

Earlier this month, the Guard fired two ballistic missiles with the words “Israel must be wiped out” written on their sides in Hebrew while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel.

Click for more from The Telegraph.