Iran’s naval forces thwarted an attack by Somali pirates on an Iranian trade vessel in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The Navy’s 44th Fleet, which patrols the Gulf of Aden waters in an overseas mission, saved the trade vessel when Somali pirates tried to hijack it.
The pirates, equipped with modern and expensive vessels such as refueling ships, launched the attack on the Iranian trade vessel on board 11 speedboats.
The timely presence of the naval flotilla forced the pirates to flee the zone.
The flotilla comprising Alvand destroyer and Bushehr logistic warship set sail for the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in October to protect the Iranian trade vessels against piracy in the unsafe zone.
Bab el-Mandeb Strait links the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea.
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Sunday the Iranian naval forces are making efforts to improve security in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb, considering security of those regions as a top priority.
He added that Iranian naval forces have so far escorted 3,850 Iranian commercial and tanker ships as well as 25 foreign vessels in the Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden regions where pirates are active.
The Iranian naval fleets are currently present in the Gulf of Aden, Sayyari said, adding that the Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr logistic vessel were dispatched to the high seas on October 6 for a nearly five-month mission.
The country’s naval forces have escorted some 3,200 Iranian and non-Iranian commercial ships and tankers over the past years to ensure their safe passage in the Gulf of Aden.
In recent years, Iran’s 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 Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.