For the second time in less than a week, Iranian sailors have been rescued by U.S. military forces patrolling in the Persian Gulf, according to the Pentagon.
This time, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Monomoy picked up six Iranian mariners whose vessel had broken down in the Gulf waters. One of those men is receiving medical treatment after suffering burns, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters.
According to Pentagon officials, the Iranian craft -- Ya-Hussayn -- was 50 miles southeast of the Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr when it got into some kind of unidentified trouble on Tuesday and became immobile. The crew used flares and flashlights, and were found by the Monomoy, which was passing by.
Reportedly, the Iranian ship’s engine room was flooded and the vessel was deemed not seaworthy.
The Pentagon said the Iranians would be sent back to their home country, but it was unclear how that would be carried out.
Last Thursday, a U.S. Navy ship rescued 13 Iranian fishermen who had been held hostage by Somali pirates.
Although U.S. military forces routinely rescue ships in distress in the region, the Pentagon wanted to highlight the two recent rescues since relations with Iran have sunk to all-time lows.
Tensions are rising in the Persian Gulf after the Iranian navy have threatened to block the vital Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Western sanctions on Iran.