Proper questions have been raised about the conduct of the 15 sailors who were kidnapped by Iran but the decision by the Ministry of Defence – allowing them to sell their stories to the newspapers – will raise bigger questions. Liam Fox has already voiced his concerns:
"Many people who shared the anxiety of the hostages’ abduction will feel that selling their stories is somewhat undignified and falls below the very high standards we have come to expect from our servicemen and women."
A statement by the MoD noted that serving personnel are not normally allowed to sell stories to the press but that "in exceptional circumstances such as the awarding of a Victoria Cross or events such as those in recent days, permission can be granted by commanding officers and the MoD." Few will believe that the behaviour of those 15 sailors in Iran compares to the valour recognised by the Victoria Cross.