Iran has dispatched two warships to Oman to start their mission in the international waters. An Iranian naval flotilla left to Oman on Sunday to progress towards a mission to the north of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. In a ceremony attended by naval commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the 47th flotilla, comprised of an Alborz destroyer and Bushehr logistic vessel, set sail from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas to Oman. Further from Oman, the ships will head to the Gulf of Aden and the international waters north of the Indian Ocean, Russia Today reported.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in the international waters, conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 as part of international anti-piracy efforts, thus safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned by Iran or other countries. But this strategic move of Iran attaches huge importance amid a crisis in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism; the charges being vehemently denied by the Qatar.
There are several security threats in the Gulf of Aden that lies between the Horn of Africa and the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The Gulf of Aden is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and is located in the Indian Ocean between Yemen on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia in Africa, therefore the ongoing conflict in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels has led to a number of ships in the area coming under attack.
“Today, there is some controlled insecurity in the Gulf of Aden and we have been able to escort over 4,000 oil tankers and cargo ships to the safe regions without any disruption in our plans for oil and non-oil exports and imports,” Admiral Sayyari told.