The USS Kidd came to the aid of 13 Iranian fisherman held hostage by Somali pirates for 40 days. The incident occurred in the North Arabian Sea and was mostly welcomed by Iran:
Iran’s government on Saturday welcomed the U.S. Navy’s rescue of 13 Iranian fishermen held by pirates, calling it a positive humanitarian gesture.
U.S. officials announced Friday that the fishermen had been rescued by a U.S. Navy destroyer on Thursday, more than 40 days after their boat was commandeered by suspected Somali pirates in the northern Arabian Sea.
“The rescue of Iranian sailors by American forces is considered a humanitarian gesture and we welcome this behavior,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by state TV’s Al-Alam Arabic channel.
Good job, USS Kidd. You even set the guy up with his own Kidd ballcap. That’ll be on Iranian eBay in a week. Not everyone in Persia-land is super happy about it:
Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency had a different take, calling the rescue operation a Hollywood dramatization of a routine event.
The Fars report noted that attacks by Somali pirates in the region are common and said that Iran’s navy has itself freed many mariners held by pirates in recent years without seeking to highly publicize it.
Okay tough guys, next time we’ll leave ’em there.