‚ÄúThe pirates attacked the Iranian cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden in two stages during the last three days,‚Äù Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy for Operations Admiral Siyavash Jarreh said.
‚ÄúIn the first stage, 12 speed boats belonging to the pirates, attacked Tour 2 oil tanker near the Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea but they fled the scene after the timely action of the Navy‚Äôs special operational forces and the escort team,‚Äù he added.
Jarreh said that an Iranian oil tanker and a bulk carrier were also rescued yesterday and today, respectively by the swift reaction the Iranian warships and their heavy firepower.
Senior Iranian Navy commanders have said that they normally shoot warning shots to scare off pirates in such scenes since they do not intend to inflict casualties on them, adding that they have almost always been successful in doing so. “But we would take tougher action if we need to,” they added.
In relevant remarks late September, Commander of the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone Admiral Khordad Hakimi told FNA in the Northern port city of Anzali, “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.
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.
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.