Navy Flotilla to Head for Atlantic Ocean

Navy Flotilla to Head for Atlantic Ocean Navy Flotilla to Head for Atlantic Ocean

Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said a naval fleet is planning to head for the Atlantic Ocean for the first time after a port call in South Africa.

The 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy, consisting of the Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr logistic vessel, embarked on a voyage to the high seas on October 5 to safeguard maritime routes used by Iranian vessels and oil tankers against pirates.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Sayyari said the flotilla first crossed the Gulf of Aden and then docked at the Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam on October 29 and remained there for three days, Press TV reported.

The navy chief added that the fleet is currently close to Mozambique's maritime border and plans to head for South Africa's territorial waters to call at a South African port, if conditions of the sea permit.

"The dispatched fleet of the Iranian Navy will continue to sail toward the Atlantic Ocean after South Africa, if the conditions are suitable," the commander said.

  Representing Defense Power

Rear Admiral Sayyari emphasized that the presence of the 44th flotilla in the high seas displays the strength of the Iranian Navy.

"When a fleet establishes its presence in an ocean and the high seas, it shows the capabilities of the Iranian Armed Forces' naval forces, which can hoist Iran's flag in the high seas," he said.

"This can strengthen Iran's ties with regional countries, prevent Iranophobia and convey Iran's message of peace and friendship to other countries."

Sayyari said Iranian naval fleets conduct a very important mission on the open seas and the Gulf of Aden by maintaining maritime security.

"The 44th flotilla also has a mission to ensure the security of Iranian ships in the Indian Ocean," he said.

The warships saved two Iranian ships from three pirate attacks on October 17 in the Gulf of Aden.

Gulf of Aden pirates, who mainly come from Somali coasts, attacked an Iranian merchant ship to highjack it but they were forced to flee after a heavy exchange of fire by the Iranian fleet.

The pirates also conducted two attacks on another Iranian merchant ship. They initially attacked the vessel with eight speedboats 46 miles south of the Yemeni city of Aden and later with 13 well-equipped boats 55 miles south of the port city.

However, the two attacks were repelled by Iranian naval forces and the pirates were forced to retreat when they came under heavy fire.

In recent years, the 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 been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.

The navy has managed to foil many attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.

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