Commander Lauds Navy for Protecting Iranian Vessels, Oil Tankers

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the 16th fleet of warships, which recently returned home from an anti-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean, lauded his forces for their success in confronting Somali pirates and providing a safe passage for Iranian cargo ships and oil tankers.
Addressing his crew in Iran's Southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Sunday, Capitan Hassan Azarpeykan said that during the 70-day-long mission the Iranian Navy ships have foiled three pirate attacks with their timely action.
He added that the Iranian vessels could also repel Somali pirate attacks on an oil tanker and two other cargo vessels in the Gulf of Aden, secure the area and provide them with a safe passage.
Iran's 16th fleet of warships, including the country's first home-made destroyer Jamaran, returned home on Sunday morning after accomplishing a 70-day mission in the Gulf of Aden and the high seas where it defended Iran's cargo ships and oil tankers against attacks by Somali pirates.
The Iranian Navy's 16th fleet of warships which was dispatched to the high seas on October 9 consisted of Jamaran destroyer and Bandar Abbas warship.
In its 9,700-mile voyages, the Iranian flotilla provided safe passage for and monitored the missions and moves made by 1,380 military and non-military vessels and aerial vehicles.
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.