August 20, 2010 / 10:46 PM / 7 years ago

US Navy rescues Iranian fishermen, returns to Iran

WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - A ship with the U.S. Navy's Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group rescued eight Iranian fishermen from a burning ship in the Arabian Sea, gave them food, water and fresh clothing and delivered them to an Iranian naval vessel two days later, the Navy reported on Friday.

The burning fishing boat was sighted on Wednesday and two SH-60 helicopters from the group's Antisubmarine Squadron were dispatched to pick up the mariners, who had abandoned the burning boat by life raft.

The Iranians were transported by helicopter to the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, where they were examined by doctors who determined they were in good condition with no significant injuries. They were assigned temporary sleeping quarters aboard the ship while Iranian authorities arranged to pick them up.

They were transferred on Friday by small boat to the AKL Chiroo, an Iranian Navy Delvar class ship, the Navy reported.

The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic relations since after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Relations have been chilly in recent years as Washington led international efforts to sanction Iran for its nuclear program.

While Iran says the program is devoted solely to the development of civilian electric power, Washington insists Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. (Writing by Todd Eastham; editing by Mohammad Zargham)



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