Iranian Navy foils pirate attack
Navy claims it rescued an Iranian oil tanker from attack.
Iran’s Navy Foils Pirate Attack on Oil Tanker near Oman
The Navy’s 30th fleet of warships rescued an Iranian oil tanker form a pirate attack off the coast of Oman on Sunday, commander of the force said.
Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Monday that servicemen aboard the 30th fleet carried out the anti-piracy operation in an overseas mission in waters between Oman and Yemen.
He said the pirates, sailing 9 vessels equipped with light and semi-heavy assault weapons, were forced to flee the scene after the timely presence of Iranian forces.
According to the commander, it was the fourth confrontation between the 30th fleet and pirates in the international waters. In three other cases, Iranian ships have been rescued by the fleet, which also saved an Indian-flagged ship from pirate attacks.
Sayyari also noted that the 30th fleet berthed at the port of Salalah in Oman on Monday.
Comprised of “Alvand” destroyer and “Bushehr” logistic warship, the fleet was deployed to the international waters in April.
The fleet is planned to sail across the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the northern parts of the Indian Ocean as part of missions to protect the Iranian vessels against pirate attacks in various shipping routes.
In recent years, Iran’s naval forces have increased their presence in the international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and oil tankers.
In line with international efforts to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has also 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.
Maritime Security Review:
Unfortunately, as is often the case with reports in the Iranian media, the Iranian Navy’s claims are difficult, if not impossible, to verify. Incidents reported by them are not logged with independent agencies and more often than not involve their own flagged vessels.
While UKMTO has noted the presence in recent weeks of larger numbers of suspicious skiffs in the Southern Red Sea, there have been no reports of similar build ups elsewhere. As the monsoon continues in the region, reports of possible pirate activity have been made in more sheltered waters, as would be expected. The claims that the pirates were armed with “semi-heavy assault weapons” would be a departure for pirates, who generally operate with AK-47 style firearms and occasionally RPGs, although these have not been used at sea for some time.