Iran plans to dispatch its flotilla of warships to the high seas in early 2014 to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said.
“The Navy’s next flotilla will be dispatched to either the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic on January 21-Feb 20,” Admiral Sayyari said on Saturday.
He underlined that the Navy’s flotilla will pass through the Mediterranean Sea to reach the Atlantic Ocean.
Earlier this week, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy for Operations Siyavash Jarreh said that the Iranian Navy’s Tareq-class submarine, ‘Younus’, has been dispatched to join the Navy’s 28th flotilla in the East Asian waters.
He underlined Iran’s sophisticated technology in the naval industry, saying “The most complicated technology of world’s military equipment belongs to submarines.”
The Admiral said that Alborz destroyer and Bandar Abbas helicopter-carrier warship accompanied Younus in this crucially important extraterritorial mission of the Iranian Navy.
“The Navy’s 28th Flotilla will berth at Mumbai and Colombo ports during its voyage,” he added.
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.