[NMS Note: Apologies ‚Äì we missed this story last week.]
Admiral Sayyari who was speaking to reporters about the Iranian navies’ bravery in their tough combat against pirate attacks in free waters, said “certain countries have recently supplied pirates with speed boats and combat weapons because they didn’t attack cargo ships in this way in the past”.
He assured the Iranian nation that “the Navy’s dispatched fleet of warships in the region (the Gulf of Aden and free waters) is protecting Iran’s interests in free and international waters fully and powerfully”.
According to the Iranian Navy commanders, the country’s fleet of warships has escorted thousands of cargo ships in free waters after starting its international mission.
Commander of the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone Admiral Khordad Hakimi told FNA in the Northern port city of Anzali in September, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy has escorted 1,538 cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden so far.”
He also said that pirates’ attempts to hijack 112 cargo ships and oil tankers in international waters have been aborted due to the timely action of the Iranian warships deployed in the region.
Hakimi referred to the presence of the Iranian Navy’s 27th flotilla of warships in the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates, and said the flotilla which is comprised of the Khark helicopter carrier and Sabalan destroyer has berthed in Sudan.
He called the Iranian Navy as an influential force, and said, “The Navy enjoys effective power in safeguarding domestic and international interests.”
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.
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.
Sayyari also said that the mission of the warships is to provide security for Iranian oil tankers and commercial ships sailing on the open seas.
He added that the 26th Fleet had operated in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and the Northern Indian Ocean during its mission on the open seas and visited a number of ports in Oman and Djibouti.
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.