Iranian vessel escapes pirate attack
Somali pirates have failed in their attempt to hijack an Iranian vessel carrying crude oil to Spain, an official from the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) says, Press TV reported.
Two pirate boats attempted to attack the Sousangerd vessel in the Bab al-Mandeb strait in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, IRNA quoted Jamal Myahi, of the NITC, as saying on Sunday.
The swift action of the vessel's crewmembers and the presence of a military helicopter in the area resulted in the failure of the ten pirates in their hijack attempt, Myahi added.
Myahi said the 158,000-ton vessel, which had a cargo of crude oil, is now heading towards its destination in Spain.
This is the fourth unsuccessful attempt by Somali pirates on Iranian vessels this year.
In recent years, Somali pirates have expanded the reach of their attacks, preying on merchant vessels and oil tankers in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is an important energy corridor, particularly because of Persian Gulf oil, which is shipped to the West through the Suez Canal.