Iran's warship arrives in Somalia waters to fight pirates 2008-12-20 20:21:27   Print

    TEHRAN, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- An Iranian warship has arrived in the Gulf of Aden in Somalia waters to fight pirates, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

    "After traveling some 4,000 maritime miles, an Iranian warship announced our country's army's powerful presence in the Gulf of Aden," the report said, without mentioning the time of arrival.

    Fars highlighted the action as "a new honor for the navy force of Islamic republic of Iran," as "the Arab Sea and the northern Indian Ocean were already the scene of Western countries' navy forces sole presence."

    "Patrolling of Iran's navy warships is something regular and this is carried out anywhere required," an Iranian high ranking army official, without referring to the name, was quoted as saying.

    Earlier, Parviz Sarvari, a member of Majlis (parliament) said that Iran might consider military option against the pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

    In November, Somalia pirates hijacked a Hong Kong cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden near the coast of Yemen which was chartered by an Iranian company. They took its 25 crew as hostage.

    The vessel Delight, loaded with 36,000 tons of wheat, was bound for Iran's Bandar Abbas Port when it was hijacked.

    More than 80 ships are estimated to have been attacked in the African waters so far this year, with about a dozen of ships believed to be in the hands of pirates along with some 200 crew members, according to media reports.

    Each year about 20,000 vessels pass through the Gulf of Aden, which links Indian Ocean with Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

    In recent months, multinational task force based in Djibouti has been patrolling parts of the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, where pirating is rife.    

Editor: Chris
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