Iran dispatches 5th fleet of warships to Gulf of Aden

January 24, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Navy sent a fifth fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden on Friday to defend the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against continued attacks by Somali pirates, a senior Iranian commander announced on Saturday.

The fifth fleet of warships is tasked with defending Iranian cargo ships and oil tankers for a period of 40 days, Commander of Iran's First Naval Zone Fariborz Qaderpanah told FNA.
""The first four fleets of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy secured the safe passage of more than 1,000 cargo ships and oil tankers from the Gulf of Aden,"" Qaderpanah added.
Noting that the fifth fleet is formed of forces from the country's first and third naval zones, he reiterated that Iran is taking preparatory measures to form its sixth fleet of warships to be dispatched to the Gulf of Aden.
""This is the first time that a warship from the third naval zone is dispatched to the Gulf of Aden,"" Qaderpanah said.
The Iranian Navy's fifth fleet includes two warships named 'Lavan' and 'Chiro' dispatched from the first naval zone on the extraterritorial mission to the Gulf of Aden.
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.