Iran naval fleet heads to Cape Town
The 30th Fleet of the Iranian Navy is heading to South Africa in line with the Islamic Republic’s strategy of expanding its naval presence in international waters.
The flotilla, which is comprised of the Alvand frigate and Bushehr light replenishment ship and has already accomplished its missions in the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea, departed Tanzania’s port of Dar es Salaam on Saturday, and sailed toward Cape Town in South Africa.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has said the fleet conveys the Islamic Republic’s message of peace and friendship to world nations.
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.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to safeguard the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.
On June 2, Iran’s 30th fleet thwarted two pirate attacks against an Iranian vessel in Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. A month earlier, the fleet had foiled a pirate attack on an Indian oil tanker as the vessel was heading toward the Suez Canal through the Red Sea.