Iranian Navy Commander Avoids Sitting beside US Counterpart in Bangladesh Conference
Admiral Sayyari arrived in Bangladesh to take part in the Conference on January 8. The three-day biennial conference was participated by the Indian Ocean Littoral States as well as a number of American, European and East Asian countries. Participants discussed issues such as piracy in Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden.
At the beginning of a dinner banquet for the officials and commanders participating in the conference, Admiral Sayyari was informed that he shares the same table with the US representative; therefore he avoided sitting at the table.
After the Iranian delegation notified the organizers, they changed Admiral Sayyari’s table and he sat beside the representative of the German navy.
Iran is scheduled to host the next meeting of the navy commanders of the Indian Ocean littoral states in 2018.
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.
Iran’s naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.
According to the report, the IRGC Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world’s oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.
The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran’s response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets.