In a rare display of gratitude, Iran thanked the U.S. Saturday for its role in rescuing 13 fisherman held captive by Somali pirates. “The rescue of Iranian sailors by American forces is considered a humanitarian gesture and we welcome this behavior,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on state TV’s Al-Alam Arabic channel. Iranian officials were forced into the uncomfortable position of praising their sworn enemy after the U.S. Navy saved the captured Iranian crew on Friday. The American forces, after spotting a pirate skiff alongside an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, quickly overwhelmed the bandits, who surrendered without firing a single shot. The Iranians had spent 40 days in captivity. While Iran’s foreign ministry offered a begrudging thank-you, the nation’s hard-line Fars news agency offered a more cynical response, casting the rescue as an over-inflated, Hollywood-style act of showmanship. “Basically, rescuing trading and fishing boats from the hands of pirates in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden is considered a completely normal issue,” Fars said. “A U.S. helicopter filming the rescue operation from the first minute makes it look like a Hollywood drama with specific locations and actors. It shows the Americans tried to publicize it through the media… Read full this story
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