TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's official news agency says that 10 Iranian sailors rescued by the U.S. navy have returned home, as Iranian officials downplay the efforts made by Tehran's American adversary.
The report by IRNA quotes Ebrahim Azizi, general governor of the coastal Hormozgan province, as saying that the repatriation of the sailors from the Gulf of Oman by their rescuers on Friday was in line with normal maritime protocol.
On Wednesday, the USS James E. Williams rescued the sailors from a burning wooden boat in the Gulf that was flying an Iranian flag. It was at least the seventh rescue involving Iranian sailors in nearly two years.
Iran and the U.S. are at odds over Tehran's nuclear program, which the West suspects seeks to build a weapon, a charge Iran denies.