“As long as we are on the sea, no attack or aggression will be made against our trade ships,” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Wednesday.
Sayyari, who was addressing a ceremony on the occasion of the World Seafarer’s Day, praised the Iranian naval forces for their astonishing performance in their missions, and said, “The Navy has so far escorted over 2,000 trade ships and oil tankers and had around 150 clashes with sea pirates, a large number of whom have been arrested and handed over to the judiciary.”
He said the Navy has now established security for Iranian and even foreign vessels in a vast area to the South of India and the 10 degrees latitude, “and in doing so, we have extended aid and assistance no just to our country’s ships, but to the vessels of the other countries which had requested help”.
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 through the Suez Canal.