The Captain of the Iranian Coast Guard vessel, the Naji 7, speaking through a translator, thanked the Monomoy captain and crew "for assisting and taking care of the Iranian sailors," the Pentagon said.
The latest American rescue comes just five days after a U.S. Navy ship belonging to U.S.S. John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike group freed 13 Iranian fishermen from Somali pirates in the Arabian sea. The American sailors gave clothes, food and water to the freed Iranian fishermen, who had been held hostage by their Somali captors for six weeks.
"It is like you were sent by God," one of the freed Iranian fisherman, Fazel ur Rehman, told the American sailors, the New York Times' C.J. Chivers reported. Iran's foreign ministry on Saturday praised that Navy rescue effort, calling it "a humanitarian gesture."
An Iranian mariner greets a US Coast Guardsmen Jan 10, 2012.