Here’s the way the New York Times spins it:
Iran has released two United States Navy patrol boats and 10 crew members who were described as “trespassing” in Iranian waters near a major naval base, state news media reported on Wednesday.
The Pentagon and the State Department said that one of the boats had experienced mechanical problems en route to Bahrain from Kuwait on a routine mission on Tuesday, and the Iranians appeared to have accepted that explanation.
The detained U.S. Marines, after it was realized that their entry into Iran’s territorial waters was unintentional, and after the Marines apologized, were released into international waters in the Persian Gulf,” the channel reported, attributing the statement to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
A prominent Iranian analyst with ties to the senior leadership said that the prompt resolution of the current incident was a reflection of how much Iran’s relations with the West had evolved since the signing of the nuclear accord this year.
“This time, the Americans were cooperative in proving their innocence, and they quickly accepted their faults without resistance,” the analyst, Hamidreza Taraghi, said in a phone interview. “The marines apologized for having strayed into Iranian waters.”
Notice how they make such a point of the U.S. apology? “The quickly accepted their faults without resistance.” Does that sound like a position of strength to you?
So this is what I see:
Iran used this for propaganda and also probably exploited the riverine assault boat technology. Last night during the State of the Union, Obama talked about a superior military, then why did the engines malfunction on both those boats? Thank God our Sailors were released, but Iran has our technology and took the time to embarrass us.