Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 5
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The Iranian 28th naval fleet sailed into the western Indian port city of Mumbai on Dec.5, IRNA news agency reported.
The fleet comprises an Alborz destroyer, Bandar Abbas warship and Yunos Kilos class submarine as well as a helicopter and seeks to further enhance interaction between the two countries and protect Iran's interests.
The fleet was officially welcomed by Indian local and military officials as well as the Iranian ambassador to India.
Mutual meetings are scheduled to be held between the two countries military officials during the three-day visit of the 28th fleet in the port.
On Dec. 4, commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari underlined that Iranian naval forces conducted six security missions in international waters as well as the Gulf of Aden, and engaged in exchanges of fire with pirates last month.
In August, the Iranian Navy dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
Admiral Sayyari said the 27th fleet was dispatched after the return of the 26th fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprising the Bandar Abbas warship and the Alvand destroyer which returned home.
Sayyari also said that the warships' mission is to provide security for Iranian oil tankers and commercial ships sailing on the open seas.
He added that the 26th Fleet had operated in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Northern Indian Ocean during its mission on the open seas and visited a number of ports in Oman and Djibouti.
On November 23, Sayyari said Iran's 27th naval flotilla had returned from its 95-day mission in the high seas.
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 Islamic Republic has repeatedly asserted that its overseas naval presence is meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the navy has also been conducting patrols in the pirate infested Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
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