McSally: 'Enraging' that Iran forced female sailor to wear a hijab

McSally: 'Enraging' that Iran forced female sailor to wear a hijab
© AP/NDN

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), a retired Air Force colonel, said Thursday it was "enraging" that a female sailor was forced to cover her head while being detained by Iran. 

"Enraging. No reason ever why US servicewoman should be forced to wear hijab. Admin's response has been embarrassing," she Tweeted. 

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The Iranian military temporarily detained 10 U.S. sailors — one woman and nine men — on Tuesday after the two boats they were on entered Iranian waters. 

Iranian state media released videos and photos of the Iranian military aboard the U.S. vessels, forcing the sailors to kneel with their hands behind their backs. 

It also released photos of the sailors sitting in a room without shoes and with the female sailor covering her head, as well as a video of a sailor apologizing for entering Iran's waters. 

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Iran's boarding of the ships and forcing the sailors to kneel was "not abnormal" because they were in Iranian territory. 

However, he added, "that's not something we would have done." 

The State Department called the release of the photos and videos "unhelpful" and "inappropriate" but said treatment of the sailors was not covered under the Geneva Convention. 

“The Geneva Convention applies for a time of war between nations, and we’re not at war with Iran,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. 

“If we were at war with Iran or another country, then, yes I think you could look at what happened as a breach of the protocols in there,” he added. “But they don’t apply.”