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Monday, July 06, 2009

Iran Sends Two Ships to be Near Somali Pirate Fighters

09-07-06 18:46:39

TEHRAN, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Iran has sent two more warships to the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden to protect merchant vessels, Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV reported Monday.

Iran's Deputy Naval Commander Gholam-Reza Khadem was quoted as saying on Monday that the dispatched warships were set to replace aging vessels and protect Iranian merchant containers and oil tankers from Somali pirates.

"Pirates have stepped up attacks on Iranian merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, so we have decided to send two more warships to patrol the area and help keep everything under control," Khadem said.

He said Iran's decision to join the international fight against piracy in the key shipping-lanes off the coast of Somalia has been "rather positive."

  • In November last year, Somalian pirates hijacked a Hong Kong cargo ship loaded with 36,000 tons of wheat, which was chartered by an Iranian company, in the Gulf of Aden near the coast of Yemen.
  • In December, an Iranian warship was sent to the Gulf of Aden in Somalia waters on a mission to protect Iranian ships and fight pirates.
  • In late June, Iran's navy prevented an attempt to hijack an Iranian oil tanker by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, the official IRNA news agency reported.
  • According to a report by the Public Relations Department of Iran's Navy Force, pirates in the Gulf of Aden had planned to hijack an Iranian oil tanker named "Hadi," but Iranian warship arrived in the scene on time to rescue it, IRNA said.
  • Each year about 20,000 vessels pass through the Gulf of Aden, which links Indian Ocean with Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

Editor: Xiong Tong

The Rest @ China View (State owned MEdia)

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