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Iran saves oil tanker from Somali pirates

Press TV - An Iranian Navy warship patrolling the volatile Gulf of Aden has managed to save one of the country's giant oil tankers from the clutches of Somali pirates.

Iran has sent six warships to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden

Somali pirates attempted to capture the Iranian oil tanker 'Hadi', but were scared off by the Iranian navy's 'quick response' to the oil tanker's distress call on Sunday.

The rescue mission comes as Iran has sent at least six vessels to join international efforts to create a defensive front against piracy in the key shipping-lanes off the coast of Somalia.

"Six warships and support vessels have been dispatched to the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden and international waters in its vicinity," said commander of the Iranian Navy Real-Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on June 27.

The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, Delight, off the coast of Yemen.

The Hong Kong-registered ship with 25 crew aboard was loaded with 36,000 tons of wheat bound for the Islamic Republic.

In an earlier move on August 21, some 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades attacked Iran's Diyanat, shortly after the merchant ship passed the Horn of Africa.

The Gulf of Aden --which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea-is the quickest transit point for more than 20,000 ships going from Asia to Europe and the Americas every year.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirates have attacked more than 220 ships in the waters leading to and from the Suez Canal this year, and have earned tens of millions of dollars in ransom.

In a report published on Dec. 15, the Time reasoned that the West's age-old policy of marginalizing Somalia's endemic poverty is the main reason behind the sudden increase in piracy off Somalia's coast.

... Payvand News - 06/30/09 ... --

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