Commander: Navy ensuring safe passage for Iran’s trade vessels

Tehran, Aug 25, IRNA — Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari lauded his forces for their success in repelling pirate attacks and providing a safe passage for Iranian and foreign cargo ships and oil tankers in international remote waters.

Sayyari pointed to providing security and safety of the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandeb by the Iranian Navy, and said that Navy has provided safe passage for Iranian shipping lines in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb and the Red Sea.

He further noted the Navy’s anti-piracy mission records, and said, ‘About 2,000 trade ships and oil tankers have so far been escorted by the (Iranian) Navy’s fleets of warships.’

The Admiral added that his forces have so far had nearly 200 clashes with pirates in their anti-piracy missions and escorted 22 foreign ships.

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 through the Suez Canal.