Iran to dispatch more fleets of warships to high seas
The Iranian Navy plans to dispatch its 24th flotilla of warships to the high seas in the next few weeks, a senior Navy commander announced on Wednesday, adding that the Iranian warships will patrol a larger area in this mission.
"The 23rd fleet of warships of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy will return home next week and the 24th fleet will be dispatched to the far seas for a 3-month mission," Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told FNA in Iran's Northern city of Rasht today.
The commander added that the Iranian warships will patrol the Northern parts of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea and even have a voyage in the waters of Southeast Asia.
The commander, however, underlined that the Iranian Navy's activities and its combat capabilities "pose no threat to any country in the region" as they just carry a message of peace and friendship for nations.
Iran started dispatching warships to the high seas after its cargo vessels and tankers came under attack and were hijacked by Somali pirates. The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden - which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea - is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West through the Suez Canal.