TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Navy dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said.
Admiral Sayyari said the 27th Fleet is comprised of the Khark helicopter carrier and Sabalan destroyer.
The 27th fleet was dispatched after the return of the 26th fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprised of the Bandar Abbas warship and the Alvand destroyer, the Iranian commander added.
Sayyari also said that the mission of the warships is to provide security for Iranian oil tankers and commercial ships sailing on the open seas.
He added that the 26th Fleet had operated in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and the Northern Indian Ocean during its mission on the open seas and visited a number of ports in Oman and Djibouti.
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.
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