Iranian naval forces have successfully saved one of the country’s merchant vessels in the strategic strait of Bab el-Mandeb from a Somali pirate attack.
The Somali pirates, on board 11 speed boats, sought to attack the Iranian ship at the mouth of the passageway to hijack it.
However, the timely presence of the 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy forced the pirates, who have acquired massive refueling and support boats as a result of their hauls, to flee.
The 44th flotilla, consisting of the Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr logistic support vessel, embarked on a voyage for high seas on October 6 to safeguard maritime routes used by the country's vessels and oil tankers operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait against pirates. It is scheduled to end its five-month mission and return to the country on March 5.
Iran's Navy chief Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Sunday that the Iranian naval forces are making efforts to improve security in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb, and consider the security of those regions as a top priority.
He added that Iranian naval forces had 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.
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.