An attempt by the Somali pirates to hijack an oil tanker was thwarted after the Iranian Navy fleet deployed in the Gulf of Aden thwarted the attack with timely action. "An oil tanker was attacked by pirates 35 miles Southeast of the Gulf of Aden," Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi said on Tuesday. After the Iranian Navy forces entered the scene, the unknown boats fled the area and the oil tanker was saved unharmed, he added. The Iranian Navy dispatched its 18th flotilla of warships to the Gulf of Aden on January 21 to protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against 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. Source: FNA