Not Rambo: Iranian TV Highlights Online Mockery of Captured US Sailors

By Patrick Goodenough | February 3, 2016 | 5:05am EST
Iran's Al-Alam TV posted these images on its Arabic-language Facebook page. (Al-Alam Arabic/Facebook)

( – An Iranian state-run television network is highlighting social media postings that mock the U.S. military, juxtaposing images of the Hollywood action character Rambo with one of U.S. Navy sailors kneeling at gunpoint after being apprehended last month by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

An item on al-Alam television’s website drew attention to the images on its Arabic-language Facebook page, and said they had brought plenty of “ridicule” from users.

It quoted one as saying that American are superheroes – “But where? In the movies!!!”

America has “never” won a war, said another user, citing conflicts in Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, while a third accused the U.S. of having a history “full of treachery and guile and cunning.”

Ten U.S. sailors were held by IRGC Navy personnel for about 15 hours after their riverine command boats entered Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on January 12 while en route from Kuwait to Bahrain.

They were released after Secretary of State John Kerry took up the matter with his Iranian counterpart, but state media repeatedly broadcast images of the sailors being held at gunpoint, kneeling and with their hands behind their heads.

Iran’s leaders and state media have since then been exploiting the incident in an evident bid to embarrass the United States. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called it “an act of God” and awarded medals to the IRGC Navy’s commander and the personnel involved.

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