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You’re Welcome, Tehran! U.S. Navy Frees Iranians From Pirates

• Spencer Ackerman via

Just days after Iran threatened the U.S. Navy and bloviated about closing off the Strait of Hormuz, the Navy saved 13 Iranian commercial sailors from pirates. Anytime you want to express your gratitude, Tehran, the Pentagon will take your call.

The incident occurred Thursday in the northern Arabian Sea, the Navy said, after the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis’ battle group left the strait. The Stennis received a distress call from a ship warning of a pirate assault.

That led the U.S.S. Kidd, a destroyer in the battle group, to the al-Molai, an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel that the pirates had hijacked over a month ago and used as a mothership. A boarding team from the Kidd apparently faced little resistance from the pirates, whose nationalities the Navy has yet to verify, although Somali pirates have clashed with Iranians before. The Kidd team freed the Iranian hostages and took 15 pirates back to the Stennis, where they’re currently detained.

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