Iran’s naval forces have rescued a Chinese container ship from an attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
The Iranian Navy said in a statement on Wednesday that five boats, each containing five armed pirates, attacked the Chinese ship, Xin Lian Yun Gang, in an attempt to hijack the vessel early this morning, but the Iranian Navy’s 31st fleet of war vessels foiled the move.
The Iranian destroyer was deployed to the area immediately after receiving an emergency call from the troubled vessel and forced the assailants to flee the scene by using light weapons and special operation teams, the statement added.
The Chinese vessel was reportedly on its way from Singapore to the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia when it came under attack in the Gulf of Aden. It continued its voyage after being rescued from the pirates.
In April 2012, Iran’s naval forces also rescued a Chinese cargo vessel seized by Somali pirates in international waters off the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Jask and detained the hijackers.
In recent years, the Iranian Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has been also conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.