Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced Iran’s plans to maintain its naval presence in the international waters, specially the Gulf of Aden and North of the Indian Ocean.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy has deployed in the North of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and this presence will continue forever,” Sayyari said in a meeting with Commander of Oman’s National Defense College (NDC) Major General Salim bin Musallam Qatan in Tehran on Tuesday.
He also underlined the necessity for the further development of naval cooperation between Tehran and Masqat.
Qatan, for his part, called for the further expansion of relations between Iran and Oman, and said, “The two countries’ navies have good cooperation in fighting terrorism and drug trafficking.”
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.
The Iranian Navy’s 32nd flotilla of warships ended its mission in the Gulf of Aden, and returned home on Sunday after thwarting 5 pirate attacks on the country’s oil tankers and cargo ships.
The 32nd flotilla, consisting of Jamaran and Bushehr destroyers, returned to Iran after 80 days of missions in the Sea of Oman, North of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea.
“The fleet of warships managed to show an active presence in the region from the Sea of Oman to the Red Sea and provide security for Iranian and foreign cargo ships and oil tankers,” Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in the Southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Sunday.
He said that 5 attempts by pirates to hijack the Iranian ships in international waters were foiled by the timely action of the 32nd fleet deployed to the region, adding that the flotilla saved 5 Iranian oil tankers and cargo ships from the attacks of pirate boats.