U.S. Navy rescues two Iranian fishermen trapped at sea for eight days

Sailors were rescued from the Gulf of Oman days before important nuclear talks resumed.

source: https://ibb.co/XYZBqdy

The U.S. military said on Sunday it had rescued two Iranian fishermen who had been living in the Gulf of Oman for eight days.

USNS cargo ship Charles Drew picked up fishermen and provided them with medical supplies, food, and water after members of the navy received distressing calls, the Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement.

They were transferred on Sunday to a ship guarding the Omani coast near Muscat, Oman's capital, the statement said. They were both “healthy and happy,” he added.

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"This is what we are trained and ready to do," said Deputy Adm. Brad Cooper, U.S. Commander Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and multinational Combined Maritime Forces. “As professional sailors, we have a responsibility to help the needy at sea.”

Iranian officials did not comment on the news, which Iranian media did not report as tensions continue between Iran and the U.S.

Indirect nuclear talks between the US, Iran and other countries are expected to resume on Monday in Vienna.

The two countries have not had any communications since 1979, but in 2015, they signed a landmark nuclear deal, which barred Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons to lift international sanctions.

Trump executives withdrew from agreement in 2018. Last year, Iran announced it would no longer comply with the plan after a U.S. air strike killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the country's Quds Force. Iran has increased its uranium enrichment since then.

Although this week's talks are seen as a way for the two countries to reconsider, it is unclear what Iran will do after the election of President Ebrahim Raisi in June. Reuters reported that Raisi said earlier this month Iran would not "go down" if talks resumed.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month the US was "ready to turn to alternatives" if negotiations failed, and Israel made it clear it was ready to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is aimed at peace only.