A U.S. Navy destroyer has rescued an Iranian fishing boat that had been commandeered by suspected pirates just days after Tehran warned the U.S. to keep its warships out of the Persian Gulf.
American forces flying off the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responded to a distress call from the Iranian vessel, the Al Molai, which had been held captive for more than 40 days, the U.S. Navy said Friday. The Kidd was sailing in the Arabian Sea, after leaving the Persian Gulf, when it came to the sailors’ aid.
A U.S. Navy team boarded the ship Thursday and detained 15 suspected Somali pirates. They had been holding the 13-member Iranian crew hostage and were using the boat as a “mother ship” for pirating operations in the Persian Gulf.
Amid escalating tensions with Tehran, the Obama administration reveled in delivering the news.