Iran's counter-piracy efforts commendable: IMO chief

June 15, 2009 - 0:0

LONDON (IRNA) -- The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has praised Iran's counter-piracy efforts in Somali waters and the Gulf of Aden, calling on the Islamic Republic to extend such "" commendable"" support to other ships.

Efthimios Mitropoulos, the IMO secretary general, wrote in a letter to Iran's Ambassador to the UK and the country's representative to IMO Rasoul Movahhedian that the deployment of two Iranian warships to conduct maritime security operations is a ""most welcome contribution"" to safeguarding international waters.
""It also reflects the Islamic Republic of Iran's determination to promote global cooperation to the benefit of safety and security in shipping and the protection of the maritime environment,"" Mitropoulos said.
On May 15, Iran dispatched two warships to the troubled waters off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden to safeguard Iranian trade cargo ships against piracy.
The move was in line with UN resolutions 1838 and 1846 and a request by the Safety Committee of the IMO.
On behalf of the IMO Council, Mitropoulos hailed Iran's decision and hoped the fight against piracy could be win in the near future in view of similar initiatives by other member states to protect international waters.
""As the IMO Council has recommended, I would be most grateful if such commendable actions were extended to all ships,"" he said. Mitropoulos earlier told IRNA that the Islamic Republic of Iran is cooperating at ""a high level"" with his organization to combat piracy in the international waters.
""From the point of view of cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the IMO, I have to say that the standard of cooperation is high and we want to upgrade it in future,"" Mitropoulos told IRNA at the sidelines of an April meeting between IMO and the Iranian delegation to sign a memorandum of understanding on further maritime cooperation.
Mitropoulos hoped that the problem of piracy would be resolved with the improvement of political situation in Somalia and further cooperation among countries and international organizations.
Iran is an active member of the London-based International Maritime Organization in its plans to safeguard international waters.