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News number: 8806141368

16:29 | 2009-09-05

Defence

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Over 2,000 Ships Detected by Iran's Naval Fleet in Gulf of Aden

TEHRAN (FNA)- The second Iranian Navy fleet dispatched to the Gulf of Aden had detected over 2,000 ships in the area during its 64-day-long mission, an Iranian commander said on Saturday.



"21 Iranian cargo ships were escorted by the Navy's fleet during the mission," Chief Captain Mohammad Reza Helalipour said in a ceremony marking the return home of Iran's second fleet from the Gulf of Aden.

He added that the second Iranian fleet had detected 2,279 freight ships and oil tankers, communicated with 184 ships and 41 Iranian oil tankers and freight ships during its mission.

Helalipour pointed out that 72 foreign ships from 21 trans-regional countries were deployed in the region, and said the Iranian fleet had staged joint exercises with a number of them.

The Iranian captain also referred to unfavorable weather conditions in the Indian Ocean and the Oman Sea as among the major hurdles faced by the Iranian fleet in its crucial mission.

The Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy dispatched its third fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden in August.

The fleet, which includes Khark battleship and Sabalan destroyer with 400 personnel and naval forces, replaced the second fleet in the region.

The second Iranian fleet of warships came back home this morning and was welcomed in a special ceremony held in Iran's Third Naval Zone in the southern port city of Chabahar and attended by the Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.

The fleet, which included Bandar Abbas logistic ship and Shahid Naqdi destroyer, succeeded in boosting security in the region and providing safe passage for tens of Iranian trade cargo ships and tankers and also foreign vessels during its long mission.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is an important energy corridor, particularly for Persian Gulf oil heading West through the Suez Canal.