Iranian naval forces engage with the pirate threat

By Piracy

A senior Iranian representative informs the country's naval forces are intensely conducting anti-piracy missions in the international waters and providing escort to Iranian as well as foreign cargo ships.
Director General of Maritime Affairs at Iran's Ports and Shipping Organization Ali Estiri told on Saturday that Iran will show its "powerful presence" in the high seas as long as pirates are active.
Estiri further indicated that the issue of piracy has been on the rise in the recent months, particularly off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean. This activity has various political and security aspects, and consensus and collective efforts by the international society are vital in an all-out battle against piracy, he added.
On May 24, Iranian naval forces saved a US commercial vessel which fell under attack by some pirate boats near the Sea of Oman.
Iran's Representative to the International Maritime Organization Ali Akbar Marzban told on May 18 that Iran's Navy has made at least 85 anti-piracy operations in international waters over the past 3 years. He added that more than 2,000 cargo ships have also received Iranian naval escorts through the zones with pirate activity waters.
Iran's Navy has been expanding its naval presence in the international waters for 12 months, deploying ships to the Indian Ocean and dispatching 2 vessels via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean for the 1st time in February 2011.
Supplementary, in line with the international collaboration to combat piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 to protect the ships, in 1st place the vessels and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran.
The Gulf of Aden, which is connected to the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the fastest route for a lot of ships passing annually between Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Nevertheless , attacks by heavily equipped Somali pirates on board speedboats have prompted some of the world's biggest shipping companies to change the course from the Suez Canal and move the cargo ships around southern Africa, leading to climbing shipping costs.