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      Iran Thanks U.S. for Rescuing Fishermen

      Iran's Foreign Ministry thanked the United States Saturday for rescuing 13 of its fishermen from pirates.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 1/7/2012, 11:17 PM

       

      The Iranian Foreign Ministry thanked the United States on Saturday after an American Navy destroyer rescued 13 of its fishermen from Somali priates. U.S. officials had announced Friday the fishermen were picked up after the rescue a day earlier, more than 40 days after their boat was captured in the northern Arabian Sea.

       

       

      The Iranian sailors had been held for more than 40 days by the time the American warships arrived on Thursday, shortly after Iran warned them to stay out of the Persian Gulf where Tehran feared the U.S. could enforce its embargo on Iranian oil exports.

      "The rescue of Iranian sailors by American forces is considered a humanitarian gesture and we welcome this behavior," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, according to the Arabic-language state-run Al-Alam television channel.

      Meanwhile, the UK has decided to send the HMS Daring -- its most powerful naval vessel -- to the Persian Gulf, according to The Daily Telegraph.

      The move comes two days after a threat by Britain to participate with other countries in making sure Iran cannot close the Strait of Hormuz, the maritime waterway through which 40 percent of Western oil supplies are shipped. The Type 45 destroyer is expected to depart from Portsmouth by Wednesday and arrive in the Gulf by the end of the month.