DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The U.S. navy says it has rescued 10 mariners who claim to be Iranian from a burning boat in the Gulf of Oman.
Wednesday's rescue by the USS James E. Williams is at least the seventh involving Iranian sailors in nearly two years and is a reminder of U.S. efforts to demonstrate the humanitarian value of its naval presence in the Gulf, a strategic waterway the Iranian government has threatened to close in retaliation for international sanctions over its nuclear program.
The sailors were rescued from a traditional wooden boat flying an Iranian flag and transported aboard the U.S. vessel where they received medical treatment and are awaiting transport to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is coordinating repatriation efforts, said Lt. Greg Raelson, spokesman for the Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.
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