A high-ranking Iranian Navy commander says the country’s naval forces have successfully saved two merchant vessels from pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of crisis-stricken Yemen.
The Iranian Navy’s Second-in-Command Rear Admiral Seyyed Mahmoud Mousavi said on Thursday that a cargo ship, whose nationality he did not mention, came under attack last night after a group of pirates on board six boats approached the vessel.
The Iranian Navy vessels patrolling the area rushed to assist the ship upon its distress call.
Iranian Navy marines managed to foil the pirate attack after engaging in a firefight, said the commander.
Mousavi added that pirates on board 12 ships launched another assault on a separate merchant vessel early on Thursday. Iranian forces once again fired shots and thwarted the pirate attack.
The senior Iranian Navy commander noted that pirates fled towards the coast of Somalia in both incidents.
On Monday, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the country’s 35th naval fleet, comprised of Bandar Abbas auxiliary ship and Alvand frigate, has been sent on a mission in the Gulf of Aden to send the Iranian nation’s message of peace and friendship to other countries, ensure safety for the Iranian vessels against pirates and safeguard the country’s interests.
In recent years, the Iranian Navy has expanded its presence in the high seas to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by the Islamic Republic.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian naval forces have also been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008.
By Press TV