Friday, January 6, 2012
U.S. military officials say the Navy has rescued an Iranian fishing boat that had been commandeered by suspected Somali pirates for more than 40 days.
The rescue comes amid escalating threats from Iran that it could block the Strait of Hormuz in response to stronger economic sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear enrichment program.
U.S. officials say American forces flying off the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responded to a distress call from the Iranian ship. A U.S. Navy team boarded the ship Thursday and detained 15 pirates who had been holding the 13-member Iranian crew hostage and were using the vessel as a "mother ship" for pirating operations in the Persian Gulf.
U.S. officials say the Iranian captain expressed his gratitude.