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News number: 8710031165

14:26 | 2008-12-23

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Iran Joins Int'l Anti-Piracy Campaign

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said the Iranian warship deployed in the Gulf of Aden will combat piracy in a joint international effort.



Iran decided to send its warship in line with the international community's efforts and resolutions of the UN Security Council to provide security for ships traveling in the region, spokesman Hassan Qashqavi was quoted by press tv as saying in a press conference Monday.

After traveling some 4,000 maritime miles, the Iranian warship carried out a naval exercise in preparation for a potential clash with Somali pirates in the region.

The Iranian ship plans to join an international fleet -- consisting of vessels from the US, Denmark, Russia, Italy and other countries -- to create a security corridor in the pirate-infested waters.

The waterway has become a hotbed for pirates who hijack commercial vessels and ask for ransom for their release.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for more than 20,000 vessels going from Asia to Europe and the Americas every year.

According to the head of the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Center, Noel Choong, there have been more than 100 attacks on ships off the coast of Somalia, resulting in the hijacking of more than 40 vessels so far this year.

Choong told the Associated Press that 14 vessels and more than 250 crewmembers remain in the hands of pirates.