Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's 34th naval fleet repelled a pirate attack against a Hong Kong's merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden.
The merchant vessel asked Iranian Navy to help after a group of Somali pirates approached it.
The pirates were forced to flee after Iranian naval forces took swift action to thwart the assault, Iran's IRIB news agency reported May 2.
The incident took place May 1, on the 23rd day of the Islamic Republic's 34th naval fleet presence in the Gulf of Aden.
The flotilla, comprises the Bushehr logistic vessel and Alborz destroyer.
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.
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 the vessels involved in maritime trade, especially the ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.
The Iranian Navy has managed to foil 202 attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its mission in international waters, according to the report.
The Gulf of Aden has been growing in sensitivity since the domestic crisis broke out in Yemen. Western media and Arab states claim Iran has a hand in the developments, but Tehran denies that.
It was earlier reported that the Iranian warships turned away from Yemen, but the Islamic Republic's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari rejected the reports saying the Iranian navy will continue its presence in the Gulf of Aden.
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