"This kind of openly hostile action is not surprising," Cotton said during an appearance on CNN's "Situation Room" shortly after news emerged that the two ships and 10 U.S. sailors had been captured.
 
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In a statement, Cotton called for the president to demand that Iran release the sailors immediately. If Iran fails to release the U.S. sailors, he said the Iran nuclear deal should be nullified.  
 
 
On CNN, Cotton said he didn't think it was "coincidental" that Iran had seized the ships hours before President Obama's final State of the Union address. CNN had reported the sailors may be in Iran overnight.
 
"It's humiliating for Barack Obama and therefore the United States to have American sailors held hostage during his final State of the Union," Cotton said. 
 
U.S. officials have said that they are monitoring the situation closely and that Iran has assured Obama administration officials that the sailors are safe and would be returned promptly.
 
Iran's seizure of the ships also comes days before billions of dollars in sanctions relief is opened up to Tehran through the international nuclear pact reached last year by the U.S. and other world powers.
 
"This is the ayatollah trying to get maximum leverage and inflict maximum humiliation on the United States and on President Obama," Cotton said.
 
"Unfortunately, that's been the story that we've seen since the nuclear deal was signed in the summer," Cotton added. "It won't be the final humiliation, it's just one more sip from this bitter cup that will be offered again and again."
 
This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.