Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence describes harrowing runway incident Free trade at the crossroads Rubio won’t say if Trump would keep US safe MORE on Wednesday praised the ten American sailors who spent the previous night in Iranian military detention.
“These 10 wonderful soldiers who went through hell, by the way,” he said on “MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts.”
Tehran announced early Wednesday that it was releasing the group of U.S. sailors who had crossed into its “territorial waters” Tuesday evening.
Trump said Iran resolved the standoff so quickly because Tehran wants to stay on good terms with the United States until its nuclear agreement takes effect in the coming days.
“They get $100 billion during the next short period of time, they don’t want to jeopardize that,” he said.
“Obviously they’re going to release them,” Trump said of the detained sailors. "They’re not going to keep them. If it happened two weeks from now, they would have kept them, and they would’ve kept them for a long period of time."
Trump also ripped the Obama administration for not negotiating the release of other Americans detained by Iran.
“We still have four hostages over there,” he said. "Why aren’t they giving those hostages back? They get everything. We get nothing.”
Iran revealed it had seized two U.S. Navy boats late Tuesday, hours before President Obama’s final State of the Union address.
Nine men and one woman were arrested during the incident, spending the evening in Iranian military custody.
Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Iran on Wednesday for treating the sailors fairly during their brief detention.
Critics have said the standoff shows Obama's nuclear deal with Iran has not quelled Tehran’s aggression.
Obama administration officials have countered that the crisis’ quick resolution demonstrates the warmer ties the deal created.