Iran seeking military interactions with Gulf of Aden littoral states

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Iranian Navy’s 32nd flotilla of warships Captain Seyed Hossein Sharifinasab underlined that the Navy sends its warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea not just to protect Iranian cargo vessels, but to strengthen relations with the littoral states in those regions.

The Iranian Navy’s 32nd flotilla of warships left Bandar Abbas port, in Southern Iran, for the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.

The flotilla, which is comprised of Jamaran destroyer and Bushehr helicopter-carrier warship, arrived in the Indian Ocean earlier today to conduct anti-piracy patrols in the high seas and Gulf of Aden.

In an interview with the state-run news agency today, Captain Sharifinasab stressed that increasing interactions with the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea littoral states is one of the primary goals behind dispatching Iranian navy flotillas to the region.

“Showing the might and preparedness of the Iranian Navy, hoisting the sacred flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Indian Ocean and proving the fact that the Iranian Navy is really a strategic force are the other goals of the 32nd fleet of warships in the Gulf of Aden,” he added.

In late July, the Iranian Navy dispatched its 31st flotilla to the Gulf of Aden and the high seas.

On August 24, the 31st Fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprised of Bayandor destroyer and Bandar Abbas logistic warship, docked at Djibouti port with the message of peace and friendship after sailing 2,200 nautical miles in free waters.

The fleet of warships had escorted 670 military and cargo ships and identified and traced trans-regional vessels and aircraft by then.

Iran’s 30th flotilla of warships ended its mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and returned home in July.

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.

By Fars News Agency


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