Tehran ‘welcomes’ U.S. navy rescue of Iranian fishermen

RFE/RL reports: Iran has broken its official silence over the U.S. Navy’s rescue of 13 Iranian fishermen from the hands of pirates by calling the January 5 operation a “welcome and humanitarian act.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Iran’s Arabic-language broadcaster, Al-Alam, that “all nations should display such behavior.”

“We consider the actions of the U.S. forces in saving the lives of the Iranian seamen to be a humanitarian and positive act and we welcome such behavior,” Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

The U.S. Navy said it had provided food, water, and medical assistance to the shaken sailors before returning them to their refueled dhow and taking the suspected Somalian pirates into custody for possible prosecution.

The Iranians are thought to have spent around a month and a half in captivity after the pirates stormed their Iranian-flagged vessel in the northern Arabian Sea.

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