TEHRAN (FNA)- The 28th Flotilla of the Iranian Navy which has been dispatched to Southeast Asia berthed at a Sri Lanka port, a senior Navy commander announced.
‚ÄúThe 28th Flotilla of this force comprising Alborz warship, Bandar Abbas warship and semi-heavy Younus submarine as well as a 212 combat helicopter berthed at Colombo port, Sri Lanka, after departing from India‚Äôs Mumbai port and travelling thousands of kilometers,‚Äù Lieutenant Navy Commander for Operations Siyavash Jarreh said on Friday.
He underlined that Colombo port is an important port in sea transit route towards Far East and the Eastern Asian countries.
Jarreh underlined that the Navy‚Äôs 28th Flotilla will be present in Mumbai port for three days, and said, ‚ÄúDuring this period various programs, including visit of the commanders of the Indian navy to the Iranian flotilla, meetings between both sides and holding different sports competitions between Iranian and Indian navies‚Äô personnel has been predicted.‚Äù
He underlined that the purpose for dispatching the 28th flotilla is both maintaining the security of shipping lines and conveying the message of peace and friendship to the regional countries, and said, ‚ÄúThis is the first presence of Iran‚Äôs semi-heavy Younus submarine in the eastern waters of the Indian Ocean and port of Mumbai in India and Colombo in Sri Lanka.‚Äù
Last month, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the navy‚Äôs 28th Flotilla will be dispatched to the Eastern Asia and Far East.
Admiral Sayyari noted that the flotilla will berth in Mumbai with the mission of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries and supervising the security of Iran‚Äôs interests.‚Äù
In August, the Iranian Navy dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
Admiral 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.