A top Iranian commander says the Navy has thwarted a fresh attempt by pirates to seize an Iranian vessel carrying liquefied gas near the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.
Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy for Operations Rear Admiral Siavash Jarreh said armed pirates on a speedboat attacked an Iranian vessel carrying liquefied gas on Friday, but they had to flee after Iranian naval forces took swift action to repel their attack.
The incident happened at Ras Al Mukalla near the Gulf of Aden, said the commander.
He said the Iranian vessel, escorted by the Navy’s 27th fleet, safely continued with its journey.
This was the third time in as many weeks that the Iranian naval fleet had clashed with pirates, he noted.
In recent years, the Iran Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Navy has also been conducting patrols in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Despite international patrols, Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships in recent years and have taken in tens of millions of dollars in ransom.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its mission in the international waters