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News number: 9101141487

15:21 | 2012-04-12

Defence

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Navy Commander: Regional Consensus Only Way to Settle Piracy Problem

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari underscored on Thursday that piracy problem in the Indian Ocean can merely be solved through regional consensus.



Sayyari is in South Africa visit to attend the 3rd Indian Ocean Naval Symposium being held in the Cape Town International Convention Center over the period of April 10 to 13, 2012.

Referring to the Symposium, the Navy commander said it aims at reviewing ways to fight pirates.

He termed the pirate measures as the sea terrorism which is a serious threat to the international marine trade.

A senior Iranian Navy commander raised the possibility of politically-tainted support for piracy in the region.

Somali pirates are poor and simple people without any expertise and there might be sort of support behind their activities, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Qolam Reza Khadem Biqam told reporters on Saturday.

He added that acting as a pirate needs special knowledge and expertise and pirates' activities are impossible without guidance, support and logistics.

The commander added that pirates usually use hostages as a human shield, but Iranian Navy commandos managed to release hostages without any casualties and arrested 21 pirates in the past two operations.

Iran's naval forces on Friday rescued a Chinese freighter which had been seized by pirates 45 miles off Iran's Southern port city of Bandar Jask.

In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian naval forces have been conducting anti-piracy patrols in international waters off its coasts since November 2008 to safeguard maritime trade, and in particular ships and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.