Captured U.S. sailors underwent 'steady questioning' by Iran

Iran video appears to show U.S. sailor in tears
Iran video appears to show U.S. sailor in tears

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    Iran video appears to show U.S. sailor in tears

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Iran video appears to show U.S. sailor in tears 02:23

Story highlights

  • The U.S. sailors captured and briefly held by Iranian forces last month told the U.S. Navy they underwent "steady questioning"
  • The Navy's preliminary investigation is expected to be concluded by the end of the month

(CNN)The U.S. sailors captured and briefly held by Iranian forces last month told the U.S. Navy that they underwent "steady questioning" by their captors, according to a U.S. defense official familiar with the latest information.

It's not yet been publicly revealed if the sailors believed this was a formal interrogation, but constant questioning to wear down a subject is a traditional interrogation technique, the official noted. It may help explain why after they were released, the sailors told their counselors they were anxious and upset, the official said.
It may also explain why one of the sailors was wiping his eyes and appeared to be crying in newly released segments of the Iranian videotaping of the sailors.
    The Navy's preliminary investigation is expected to be concluded by the end of the month.
    It is looking at what may have happened during the questioning, and what the sailors might have said. But the investigation is also closely looking at the GPS navigation equipment the sailors used to see if it can be determined how they drifted into Iranian waters.
    The official said three current scenarios are being reviewed: The sailors used the GPS incorrectly, or failed to maintain navigational awareness; the GPS suffered a technical malfunction; or Iranian forces or some other personnel in the region "spoofed" the GPS in a signals attack designed to alter the GPS, causing the boat to be unknowingly thrown off course.
    The official told CNN the Navy has "anecdotal evidence" of GPS systems being spoofed in other areas, so the scenario is being considered in the investigation.