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Iranian Official Warns of Growing Threat of Piracy in Int’l Waterways

20 February 2015 14:17

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The number of pirate attacks on Iranian oil tankers in 2014 has risen compared to 2013, an official at Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Company said, warning that pirates are shifting to the African waters.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Akbar Jebel Ameli said the cases of pirate attacks on the Iranian oil tankers in 2014 has jumped by 15 percent in comparison to 2013.

The official, however, noted that none of the Iranian oil tankers were damaged in the 10 pirate attacks in 2014, because of the timely presence of the country’s naval fleet.

Jebel Ameli described the Bab el-Mandeb strait as the world’s most dangerous place for vessels by recording the highest number of attacks, with 33 percent of the worldwide cases since 2008.

The Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Somali waters and the Red Sea are among the other most dangerous waters, he explained.

He also noted that a review of the attacks reveals that pirates are extending their activities from the Bab el-Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden to Africa.

Since November 2008, the Iranian navy has conducted anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb strait to protect the country’s vessels against pirate attacks.

Under the terms of several UN Security Council resolutions, nations can deploy warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia to protect their vessels against the pirates and, after giving notice to Somali government, enter Somali territorial in pursuit of the pirates.

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