The US Navy has announced that a guided-missile destroyer has rescued 10 Iranian sailors from a burning ship in the Gulf of Oman, and that they are receiving medical treatment on-board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.
The rescue is the seventh time US Navy ships in the gulf region have rescued Iranians in the past two years. During that period Iran’s Navy also rescued a US cargo ship off the coast of Oman from pirates.
Such cooperation on the high seas belies the ongoing tension between the two nations, and while such rescues could conceivably be used as a jumping-off point for improving relations, such incidents almost always are negated by US threats to attack within a matter of days.
US Naval spokesman Lt. Greg Raelson downplayed the significance of the incident, saying that their ships aid “mariners in distress regardless of nationality.” There was no specific information on how the Iranian ship caught fire in the first place or now serious the injuries were.