Presence of the Iranian naval forces in the high seas is the country’s inalienable right to safeguard its interests and fight piracy, a senior navy commander underlined on Tuesday.
“It is our inalienable right to deploy in free waters and we will be present in any place where there is a need for safeguarding our interests, like confronting the pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden,” Commander of Iran’s Jamaran destroyer Captain Fathollah Rahimian said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy has deployed in distant and international waters to reach two goals; first presence in the free waters, and second safeguarding the country’s interests,” he added.
Commander of the Iranian Navy’s 32nd flotilla of warships Captain Seyed Hossein Sharifinasab announced on Saturday that the country’s naval forces deployed in the high seas had escorted 1,745 Iranian cargo ships and oil tankers so far.
“Since the very first day of dispatching the powerful strategic flotillas of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s navy to the free and international waters, we have escorted 1,745 Iranian vessels, including 807 cargo ships and 938 oil tankers, directly,” Sharifinasab said.
He also said that the Iranian Navy’s flotilla of warships was involved in 150 intense fighting against pirates in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and North of the Indian Ocean during the mentioned period of time.
The Iranian Navy’s 32nd flotilla of warships left Bandar Abbas port, in Southern Iran, for the Gulf of Aden early this month to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
The flotilla, which is comprised of Jamaran destroyer and Bushehr helicopter-carrier warship, arrived in the Indian Ocean on November 8 to conduct anti-piracy patrols in the high seas and Gulf of Aden.
In late July, the Iranian Navy dispatched its 31st flotilla to the Gulf of Aden and the high seas.
On August 24, the 31st Fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprised of Bayandor destroyer and Bandar Abbas logistic warship, docked at Djibouti port with the message of peace and friendship after sailing 2,200 nautical miles in free waters.
The fleet of warships had escorted 670 military and cargo ships and identified and traced trans-regional vessels and aircraft by then.
Iran’s 30th flotilla of warships ended its mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and returned home in July.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.