Top commander reiterates Iranian Navy’s deployment in Int’l waters

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari underscored presence of the country’s naval forces in free waters to defend the national interests.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy safeguards the country’s interests in the high seas and is ready to confront the enemies at any point,” Admiral Sayyari said, addressing the Iranian cadets in the Northern city of Rasht on Wednesday.

Referring to the deployment of the Iranian navy units in the Gulf of Aden, he said they protect the country’s interests.

Admiral Sayyari also pointed to his forces’ presence in the Indian Ocean, the Sea of China and the Pacific Ocean, and said, “We are conducting mission now at a 2,500-km distance (from Iran).”

Elsewhere, he said that one of the largest centers for specialized naval trainings in the region has been built in the city of Rasht.

In relevant remarks in June, Sayyari announced that his forces deployed in the high seas have escorted over 2,500 cargo ships and oil tankers so far.

“The Iranian Navy has so far sent 41 fleets of warships to the Gulf of Aden and has provided security to 2,500 cargo ships and oil tankers in free waters,” Sayyari told reporters in the Southern city of Bushehr.

He underlined that the Iranian flotilla of warships are protecting the country’s interests against pirates’ attacks.

Elsewhere, Sayyari stressed the Iranian Navy’s self-reliance in building and overhauling different equipment and weapons, and said, “In the current conditions we rely on our internal capabilities to keep and overhaul different types of vessels and build and renovate missile-launching warships, destroyers and other equipment.”

His remarks came one week after the Iranian Navy’s 41st flotilla of warships left Bandar Abbas port, in Southern Hormozgan province, for the Gulf of Aden to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.

The Navy’s 41st fleet, comprising Lavan logistic warship and Shahid Naqdi destroyer, will conduct anti-piracy patrols in the high seas and Gulf of Aden.

The mission of the 41st fleet started after the 40th flotilla of warships, comprised of Alborz destroyer and Tonb logistic warship, returned to Iran after about one month of mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Addressing the ceremony to welcome the 40th fleet, Rear Admiral Sayyari appreciated the 40th flotilla’s crew for their successful mission, and said, “We have been able to protect the country’s trade shipping lines by naval deployment in the free waters and we will continue this mission mightily and powerfully.”

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