0627 GMT November 13, 2019
An Iranian oil vessel came under attack by a group of pirates on a speedboat and a launch at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Monday, IRNA reported.
However, the attackers fled the scene after Iranian naval forces intervened and inflicted heavy losses on them, Sayyari added.
The senior Iranian commander further highlighted the Islamic Republic’s anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden, adding, “Pirates are present in the area and seize any opportunity to launch attacks on commercial ships and oil tankers.”
Sayyari also hailed the Iranian Navy for their capabilities in various spheres, stressing that the Islamic Republic’s naval forces plan to increase their presence in the high seas by entering the Atlantic Ocean from the African continent or the Strait of Gibraltar in the future.
On Sunday, Sayyari said the country’s naval forces had successfully foiled more than 150 pirate attacks on Iranian merchant vessels and oil tankers and escorted 2,000 commercial ships in the past few years.
Iran’s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and 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 commercial vessels, particularly the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.