Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari appreciated his forces for foiling pirates’ attacks on Iranian cargo ships in international waters, and said the Navy doesn’t allow any country or group to blackmail Iran in the high seas.
“No one can blackmail the Iranian Navy as it provides security for the country’s trade fleet in free waters,” Sayyari said, addressing the graduation ceremony of a number of Iranian Navy cadets in the Northern city of Rasht on Monday.
He described the Iranian Navy as a symbol of the country’s power, and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy will give a crushing response to (forces of) any aggressive country in free waters.”
His remarks came after repeated attempts by pirates to hijack an Iranian oil tanker in international waters were foiled by the timely action of the Iranian warships present in the region.
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy for Operations Admiral Siyavash Jarreh announced on Sunday that the Navy’s 27th fleet of warship saved the Iranian tanker from pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden.
“The Iranian oil tanker was attacked by a pirate boat last night but their devilish act failed due to the timely action of the 27th flotilla of warships and the pirates fled the scene,” he added.
Yet, the admiral said, the pirates returned after reinvigorating their forces on eight boats but the Iranian fleet of warships rushed to the scene and forced pirates to flee by staging successful defensive operations and a heavy firepower, he added.
“The Iranian oil tanker was escorted by the Navy flotilla through the waterway and it continued its path towards its destination fully safely,” Jarreh said.
In relevant remarks late September, a senior Iranian Commander said that the Iranian fleets of warships deployed in the Gulf of Aden have escorted a total number of 1,538 cargo ships and oil tankers during their mission in the waterway.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy has escorted 1,538 cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden so far,” Commander of the Iranian Army’s 4th Naval Zone Admiral Khordad Hakimi told FNA in the Northern port city of Anzali.
He also said that pirates’ attempts to hijack 112 cargo ships and oil tankers in international waters have been aborted due to the timely action of the Iranian warships deployed in the region.
Hakimi referred to the presence of the Iranian Navy’s 27th flotilla of warships in the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates, and said the flotilla which is comprised of the Khark helicopter carrier and Sabalan destroyer has berthed in Sudan.
He called the Iranian Navy as an influential force, and said, “The Navy enjoys effective power in safeguarding domestic and international interests.”
The Iranian Navy in August dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
Sayyari said at the time that 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.