Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says 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.
“Today the most important issue on the agenda of [Iran’s] Navy is to provide security in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb,” Sayyari said on Sunday.
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.
“For the first time, we have managed to sail around the Cape of Good Hope which is itself a record,” the Navy chief said, noting that new vessels would join the Navy soon.
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.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.