Iran’s navy has repelled pirate attacks against two Iranian oil tanks in the Gulf of Aden in last 48 hours, the public relation department of the Islamic Republic navy announced April 28.
A group of pirates approached two Iranian oil tanks in the region, but had to flee after several hours of shootout with the Islamic Republic’s naval forces, the navy statement reads, Iran ’s official IRIB news agency reported.
The Gulf of Aden has been growing in sensitivity since the domestic crisis broke out in Yemen. Western media and Arab states claim Iran has a hand in the developments, but Tehran denies that.
It was earlier reported that the Iranian warships turned away from Yemen on Apr. 23 and continued to move northeast on Apr. 24, back in the direction of Iran.
The Islamic Republic’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari rejected the reports saying the Iranian navy will continue its presence in the Gulf of Aden.
“Rumors and protests wouldn’t force Iran ’s Navy to leave its mission in the Gulf of Aden,” said Sayyari, adding these waters are a route for Iranian ships and the Islamic Republic warships will remain there to safeguard their security.
The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for thousands of vessels traveling annually between Asia, Europe and the Americas. Iranian naval forces foiled several pirate attacks against Iranian ships in the region during the past months.
In recent years, Iran ‘s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.