Iranian naval forces have successfully thwarted a major pirate attack on one of the country’s merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden.
Iran’s 48th naval fleet, comprised of Alvand destroyer and Lavan logistic warship, saved the Iranian ship from an attack by pirates sailing seven boats near Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Monday morning.
The Gulf of Aden pirates, who mainly come from Somali coasts, attacked the Iranian merchant ship with light and semi-heavy assault weapons in a bid to hijack it.
The Alvand destroyer received a distress signal from the trade vessel, loaded with a cargo worth millions of dollars, and rushed to the area, forcing the pirates to flee.
Iran’s 48th naval fleet set off for high seas on September 2 on a mission to maintain the Islamic Republic’s power in international waters and safeguard maritime routes.
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in September that the country’s naval forces had escorted some 4,200 Iranian and non-Iranian commercial ships and tankers over the past six years to ensure their safe passage in the Gulf of Aden.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.