Iranian Navy saves U.S. ship from pirate attack
- Common sense says you use this act of good will to open a few doors for peace.
Iran's navy said Thursday it saved an American-flagged cargo shipthat was being attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman.
An Iranian warship responded to a distress signal from the US-flagged Maersk Texas, a cargo ship of 150 metres (500 feet) and 14,000 tonnes, which was besieged by "several pirate boats," the navy said in a statement reported by the official IRNA news agency.
The cargo vessel "was saved by the navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran" on Wednesday, IRNA added.
The pirates "fled the scene as soon as they spotted the presence" of the warship. Maersk Texas "thanked the Iranian navy and sailed towards its destination safely," it added.
It was the first time the Iranian navy protected a US ship from pirates.
Maersk Line told AFP that its vessel, Maersk Texas, had "thwarted an attack by multiple pirate skiffs at noon local while transiting the Gulf of Oman, northeast of Fujairah" but denied it had been helped by the Iranian navy.
"Maersk Texas heard from the Iranian navy over radio to the initial distress call, but our vessel received no assistance from the Iranian navy," spokesman Kevin Steers said in an email sent to AFP in Washington.
"All hands onboard are safe and unharmed, and the vessel is proceeding on its voyage," he added.