TEHRAN, Iran – The Islamic Republic Navy has successfully thwarted a major pirate attack on an Iranian merchant vessel in Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The 41st flotilla of the Iranian Navy, consisting of Lavan logistic warship and Shaheed Naqdi destroyer, rushed to the help of an Iranian oil tanker when 115 armed pirates on board 12 ships attacked the vessel in the hope of capturing it early on Saturday.
The pirates were forced to flee immediately after they encountered Shaheed Naqdi destroyer.
The pirates once again attacked the Iranian tanker three hours later. The second assault was similarly foiled by the fleet.
After repelling the pirate attack two times, the Iranian flotilla escorted the vessel to a safe zone.
The 41st flotilla of the Iranian Navy departed from the country’s southern coasts for high seas in June to safeguard maritime routes used by Iranian vessels operating in international waters.
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 also conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard 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.