Source: Press TV
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has dismissed reports about a warning to Iranian ships in the Gulf of Aden, saying the flotilla is currently carrying out its mission in the strategic region.
Iranian Navy Chief, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari (file photo)
"The 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy is currently in the Gulf of Aden at the entrance to the Bab al-Mandab Strait and is patrolling [the area] and conducting its mission," Sayyari said on Saturday.
He added that improving security along Iran's sea communications routes is one of the objectives of the country's naval forces.
The 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy, which comprises the Bushehr logistic vessel and Alborz destroyer, left the country's southern port city of Bandar Abbas for the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandab Strait on April 8 in line with the Islamic Republic's policy of safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region.
US defense officials on Thursday claimed that the Iranian flotilla suspected of carrying weapons bound for Yemen had reversed course and appeared to be heading home to avert a potential confrontation in the Gulf of Aden.
They claimed that the cargo ships, accompanied by two Iranian warships, shifted course as a US aircraft carrier moved within 200 nautical miles of the flotilla and after Saudi officials said their sailors would attempt to search the ships if they tried to dock in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia launched its air campaign against Yemen on March 26 - without a United Nations mandate - in a bid to restore power to the country's fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
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