The U.S. Navy has rescued an Iranian fishing vessel that had been held hostage by pirates for up to 45 days in the Arabian Sea, the military said Friday The rescue was performed Thursday by forces from the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, part of the 5th Fleet that was warned this week by Iran not to pass back through the Strait of Hormuz. According to a Navy press release, forces flying off the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd detected a suspected pirate vessel alongside Iranian fishing dhow Al Molai, which had also sent out a distress call saying it was being held by pirates. Iran's posturing may mask concerns of leaders Iran plans new drills near Strait of Hormuz Al Molai's crew was detained for between 40 and 45 days, enduring harsh conditions and possibly being forced to assist the pirates in other operations against their will, the Navy said. "When we boarded, we gave them food, water, and medical care," Josh Schminky, a Navy Criminal Investigative Service agent aboard the Kidd, said in the statement. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on the rescue in a "Face the Nation" interview scheduled to air Sunday. "It's what we do. And it's what we do in that part of the world. We get a distress call, as we did in the case, even though it came from an Iranian ship when the pirates went after them we respond to those calls," Panetta said. "We did what we have to do in that situation. I think it just sends an important message to the world that the United States is going to abide by international rules and international order and that's exactly what we did here." Video: Iran continues threats against oil shipping Iran warns U.S. to back off from Persian Gulf U.S.: Warships will sail despite Iran's threats In the same interview, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the 15 suspected pirates surrendered without incident. "I think in the face of the overwhelming combat power that was presented I think the pirates made the right decision," he said. The suspects are currently being detained aboard the USS John C. Stennis. They had been using the Iranian vessel as a "mother ship" for pirating operations in the Persian Gulf, the Navy said. U.S. officials say the Iranian captain expressed his gratitude. The rescue comes amid escalating threats from Iran that it could block the Strait of Hormuz in response to stronger economic sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear enrichment program. http://m.cbsnews.com/fullstory.rbml?feed_id=2&catid=57353833&videofeed=38 The navy just scored some cool points from me.