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News number: 8901171429

18:56 | 2010-04-06

Defence

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Iranian Navy to Dispatch 8th Fleet of Warships to Gulf of Aden

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Navy is ready to dispatch the 8th fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden, a senior Iranian commander announced on Tuesday.



"Iranian fleets of warships are sent on three-month-long missions and while mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran's 7th fleet of warships in the Gulf of Aden will end two months later, the 8th fleet is already ready to leave for the mission," Iranian Army's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told FNA.

Sayyari reiterated that the 7th fleet of Iranian warships, which consists of 'Sabalan' and 'Khark' destroyers, is still in charge of securing the area and the safe passage of Iranian vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden, and said the flotilla would continue its mission for the next two months.

The Iranian Navy's 7th fleet, including two destroyers named Sabalan and Khark, was dispatched from the first naval zone on an extraterritorial mission to the Gulf of Aden a month ago.

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 via the Suez Canal.