The U.S. Defense Department said that members of the U.S. Navy rescued 13 Iranians who were being held hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea.

According to the Pentagon, an Iranian fishing vessel issued a distress call after it was boarded by pirates more than one month ago.

The Associated Press said the pirates were identified as Somalis who commandeered the boat 40 days ago.

The U.S. forces who answered the plea for help were from the destroyer USS Kidd, AP noted.

After the rescue, U.S. Navy officials detained fifteen pirates and are currently holding them.

The captain of the Iranian ship reportedly thanked the Americans who saved him and his crew.

Ironically, the rescue comes as tensions are rising in the Persian Gulf where Iranian navy officials are running war drills and have already threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Western sanctions on Iran.