An Iranian Army soldier stands guard on a military speed boat during naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz. (File photo)
Iran's Navy warships have foiled a pirate attack on an Iranian cargo vessel in the Red Sea off the coast of war-ravaged Somalia.
Iranian Navy's Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi said the Iranian freighter came under attack on Monday after several armed people on board four skiffs approached the ship.
The Iranian warships patrolling the area rushed to assist the cargo vessel upon its distress call, which reported an unauthorized boarding attempt by a number of people.
Iranian Navy marines managed to foil the pirate attack on the vessel after getting engaged in a fire fight. No injuries were reported among the crews of the Iranian ships.
Pirates had earlier launched three separate attacks on an Iranian-owned oil tanker close to the Bab el-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa.
However, they were repelled and forced to leave the area.
Iran's Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Ali Akbar Marzban, said on May 18 that Iran's Navy has conducted at least 85 anti-piracy missions in international waters over the past three years.