‚ÄúOur Basij (volunteer) forces and (the IRGC) marines are deployed in more than 32 ships which voyage in the international waters,‚Äù Tangsiri told FNA in Tehran on Sunday.
He referred to the long-term record of the IRGC‚Äôs presence in free waters, and said, ‚ÄúThe IRGC was the starter of anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and was present there for 170 days and then delivered the responsibility to the Army‚Äôs Navy.‚Äù
The Iranian Navy in August dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the 27th fleet was dispatched after the return of the 26th fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprised of the Bandar Abbas warship and the Alvand destroyer returned home.
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.