Iran claims suburban Chicago sailor, crew were 'unprofessional'

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A top Iranian admiral says the U.S. commander and his nine crew members acted unprofessionally and irresponsibly. (WLS)

ABC7 I-Team Investigation
A top Iranian admiral says the U.S. commander and his nine crew members acted unprofessionally and irresponsibly, according to new information obtained by the ABC7 I-Team.

We know more about what led up to the so-called apology from Naperville native Lt. John Nartker, the commander who was taken into custody with his crew as they floated into Iranian waters on the Persian Gulf.

U.S. Navy officials say the two boats under Nartker's command had working GPS systems and adequate fuel supplies.

But an Iranian admiral now says Nartker and crew will be facing punishment from the U.S. Navy for their conduct.

"It was a mistake. That was our fault, and we apologize for our mistake," Nartker said.

The video mea culpa by Nartker was made public after the Iranians released the American captives.

An Iranian admiral is explaining more about why Nartker and crew were taken in the first place - their two Navy patrol boats, having floated into Iranian water, the crew kneeling for their captors with hands up.

"Within the 40 minutes during which the Americans were arrested it turned out that they were under psychological pressure and did not act in a professional and responsible manner. It seems they have been or will be disciplined by the U.S. authorities because making such mistakes in the Persian Gulf - which is a very sensitive region - is very dangerous," said Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadav, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

Neither Navy officials nor the Pentagon have said whether the crew did anything wrong, nor what actually led to the encounter with Iran, other than to say it was a mistake.

"There's really only one individual that can explain the decisions that he made. In this case, it's the young officer that's in charge. I know the Navy is talking to him. I'm not going to get ahead of judgments by the Navy," said John Kirby, U.S. State Department spokesman.

Nartker, a 2007 graduate of Benet Academy in Lisle and graduate of the Naval Academy, is currently with his crew at an American base in Qatar, trying to sort out what happened.

As the I-Team first reported Wednesday night, Nartker is based in San Diego but has sailed around the world as a platoon commander.

Even as U.S. officials piece together what happened, that Iranian admiral describes a much more precarious encounter than first thought.

During the time the 10 sailors were being taken into custody, he says Iranian missile systems were ready to strike the USS Truman aircraft carrier in the gulf had the ship made a hostile move.

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