Iranian media reports that an Iranian oil tanker was attacked by pirates on Thursday morning.¬†
The incident reportedly occurred in the Red Sea, when no fewer than eight skiffs with several armed men on board approached the ship. According to the report, the ship issued a distress call which was answered by the 30th Fleet of the Iranian Navy, in the shape of the Alvand frigate and Bushehr light replenishment ship. Both were apparently patrolling the area when the distress call was received.
Iranian Navy marines then “foiled” (a favourite word often used in Iranian media reports of piracy incidents) the attack after engaging the pirates in a gun fight, which forced them to retreat. The report then goes on to mention how the Iranian Navy also managed to “thwart” two other pirate attacks earlier in June. On June 2nd, the Navy claimed to have fought off two pirate attacks on the same Iranian vessel in the Bab el Mandeb Strait.
Unfortunately, as is generally the case with Iranian Navy reports, there is no independent verification of the events. It seems unlikely that a PAG of eight ships would go unnoticed by vessels transiting the area, and no other ships have reported sighting a PAG of that size.