A senior Iranian commander claimed on Wednesday that the country’s naval forces thwarted an overnight pirate attack on one of the country’s merchant vessels in the Red Sea.
Iranian Navy's deputy head of operations, Rear Admiral Mostafa Tajeddini, said the escort flotilla of the army's naval unit, led by the Jamaran destroyer, responded to a distress call from an Iranian ship in the Red Sea, and fended off the attacking boats after a heavy exchange of fire.
“Thanks to the effective [naval] presence and after heavy exchanges, the attacking boats made off,” the senior commander noted, but stopped short of providing details of the ship that was targeted or the forces that launched the overnight attack.
In November 2021, Iran said pirates attempted to seize an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, two weeks after an Iranian warship repelled an attack by pirates against two oil tankers that it was escorting in the Gulf of Aden.
Iran stepped up its naval presence in the Gulf of Aden after a wave of attacks by Somalia-based pirates between 2000 and 2011 to increase security of its ships through the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
In July, Iran-backed Houthis of Yemen said Sana’a will not allow the Red Sea to become an “Israeli lake,” noting that Yemen has the final say in the Bab al-Mandab strait and will “preserve the Arab identity of the Red Sea in the face of the US conspiracy to turn it into a Zionist lake."
Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz said earlier in July that Iran is expanding its aggressive operations in the region in general, and in the naval arena in particular.