Iranian Navy Clashes with Somali Pirates
Iranian Navy’s 30th flotilla has returned from a one-hundred day mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has reported that the Iranian warships rescued five trade vessels attacked by pirates during the operation.
“The 30th flotilla had five cases of severe conflicts with the pirates,” Admiral Sayyari told Fars News Agency on Sunday.
Alvand and Bushehr warships docked in the Bandar Abbas Port after more than three months of patrolling the pirate-infested waters, ending the mission one month ahead of schedule.
The aim of the mission was to provide a safe passage for Iranian shipping lines in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean, ensuring smooth sailing to Sudanese ports, Tanzania’s Dar al-Salam port and Oman’s Salalah port.
This was the longest ever mission carried out by the Iranian Navy in international waters.
The anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden started back in November 2008, instigated by Somali pirates’ hijacking of MV Delight, Iranian-chartered cargo ship, near Yemen.
UN Security Council resolutions stipulate that countries are allowed to send their warships to the Gulf of Eden, as well as Somalia’s coastal waters to combat piracy.
The resolutions also allow warships to enter Somali territorial waters in pursuit of pirates, with a prior notification to Somali authorities.
World Maritime News Staff, August 4, 2014