The US Navy said on Sunday that it has rescued two Iranian fishermen stranded in the Gulf of Oman for eight days.
According to a statement issued by Naval Force Central Command, the cargo ship USNS Charles Drew picked up the fishermen and provided medical care, food and water to members of an international naval alliance after receiving an emergency call.
They were transferred to an Omani Coast Guard vessel near Oman’s capital Muscat on Sunday, the statement said. The statement said both were “in good health and spirits”.
Iran ready to return to nuclear talks ‘very soon’, says new Iranian foreign minister
September 25, 202132:38
“This is what we are trained and prepared to do,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces. “As professional sailors, it is our responsibility to help those in need at sea.”
Iranian officials did not comment on the news and Iranian media did not report the news of the rescued fishermen.
The rescue comes as tensions escalate between Iran and the United States.
Indirect nuclear talks between the US, Iran and other countries are set to resume in Vienna on Monday.
The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1979, but in 2015, signed a landmark nuclear deal that banned Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
In 2018, the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement. Last year, the Iranian government announced it would not comply with planned sanctions after a US drone strike killed the commander of the country’s elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani. The Middle Eastern country has since increased uranium enrichment.
While this week’s talks are being seen as a way for the two countries to adhere to the agreement again, it is unclear what the Iranian government will take in view of the election of President Ibrahim Raisi in June. According to Reuters, Raisi said in early November that Iran “will not back down” when talks resume.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month That the US was “ready to turn to other options” if the talks failed, and Israel has made it clear that it is ready to take military action if necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Iran says its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes.
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