Teheran - The Islamic Republic’s naval forces have successfully foiled a pirate attack on an Indian oil tanker in the Red Sea, an Iranian commander says. “An Indian oil tanker dubbed Jok Lok was heading toward the Suez Canal through the Red Sea when it was attacked by seven ultra speed boats belonging to pirates,” Iranian Navy’s Deputy Commander for Operations Admiral Siavash Jareh said on Sunday. He added the 30th fleet of Iran’s Navy rushed to rescue the Indian oil tanker immediately after it demanded help. The Iranian flotilla clashed with the pirates and forced them to retreat, he noted, adding that the Indian ship immediately left for its destination safe and sound. The 30th fleet of the Iranian Navy -- comprising Alvand destroyer and Bushehr logistic vessel -- will dock at Port Sudan in the Red Sea within the next days. In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has also been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries. Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters. On February 13, Commander of the Iranian Navy said the country’s naval forces thwarted over 150 pirate attacks on Iranian merchant vessels and oil tankers in the past four years.