Commander of the Iranian Navy says the country’s naval forces have thwarted over 150 pirate attacks on Iranian merchant vessels and oil tankers in the past four years.
“Over the past four years, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy warships have escorted some 2,000 merchant vessels and freighters…and provided full security for the passage of Iranian vessels in a way that pirates have been unable to mount an attack on our ships,” Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Thursday.
He added that Iranian naval forces arrested a number of pirates in four occasions.
Sayyari stated that most of the pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden come from Somalia, noting that parts of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden are so unsafe that any vessel sailing these waters on its own and without the support of naval forces will be targeted by pirates.
On January 9, Iran’s naval forces rescued an Iranian merchant vessel that had come under attack by pirates in the Arabian Sea. The development came a day after the Iranian Navy saved an Iranian-owned oil tanker from pirates in the Indian Ocean.
In recent years, Iran Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has been also conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.