US Navy rescues a third Iranian ship

Tensions might be high between Iran and the United States diplomatically, but in the Arabian Sea, the latter has apparently become a key ally for distressed Iranian ships.

The U.S. Navy said it rescued an Iranian fishing boat that was stranded Wednesday, the third time in the past month the U.S. Fifth Fleet has aided an Iranian vessel.

The latest rescue came Wednesday morning after the USS Dewey helped the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing dhow that had flooded in the central Arabian Sea, according to a Navy statement.

The latest rescue wasn’t as exciting as the first one, which occurred earlier this month, when a U.S. Navy team rescued a 13-person Iranian crew from Somali pirates who had hijacked the ship.

Then four days later, the Navy rescued an Iranian cargo ship that had flooded.

Flooding was also the problem this time around, as most of the crew had abandoned the sinking ship. The Dewey then sent a rescue team to help the displaced crew.

"Once we talked with their captain, it was clear that they needed food and water," said Lt. j.g. Jason Dawson, according to the Navy.

The Navy team provided about 150 pounds of supplies to the Iranian fisherman.

Iran isn’t likely to be happy to hear about the United States helping Iranian ships, as Iran threatened U.S. carriers in the Persian Gulf earlier this month in the midst of its claim it could close the Strait of Hormuz, the key shipping passage into the gulf.

After the USS Stennis left the Persian Gulf through the strait last month, Iran warned the U.S. carrier to stay out, saying it doesn’t issue warnings more than once.

The United States has said it will continue its regular operations in the Persian Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz.