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News number: 8901171318

17:21 | 2010-04-06


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Iranian Warships Foil Attempted Hijack of Oil-Tanker

TEHRAN (FNA)- An attempt by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden to hijack an Iranian oil tanker was nipped in the bud after an Iranian fleet of warships present in the region rushed to the scene and attacked the buccaneers' vessel.

The Iranian oil tanker named 'Iran Faraz" was attacked by four Somali speed-boats on route to the port city of Izmir in Turkey from Bandar Bushehr in southern Iran.

The Iranian fleet which was patrolling in the area rushed to the scene after it received an SOS message from the Iranian tanker and curtailed the attempted hijack through timely and swift operation.

Iran Faraz is now heading to Turkey without sustaining any damage.

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.

The Iranian Navy has recently dispatched a seventh flotilla of warships to the Gulf of Aden to defend the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against continued attacks by Somali pirates.

The Iranian Army's Navy announced in a statement in mid March that it dispatched forces to the Gulf of Aden and northern Indian Ocean after a special ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas attended by Commander of the Navy's Southern Fleet Admiral Ebrahim Ashkan and other senior commanders.

The Iranian Navy's seventh fleet is comprised of two destroyers named 'Sabalan' and 'Khark' which were dispatched from the first naval zone.

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 via the Suez Canal.