Iran navy says it fended off pirate attack on ship


Iranian naval forces intervened to repel pirates attacking a commercial ship from the Islamic Republic in the Gulf of Aden, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

“Last night (Saturday) … an Iranian commercial vessel passing the Gulf of Aden was attacked twice by pirates,” said Commander Habibollah Sayari, adding the attackers fled the scene after the navy’s intervention. The report did not reveal the ship’s cargo.

Last month, the Iranian navy said it fended off an attack on an oil supertanker in the same area with a cargo worth $150 million. Iran is the world’s fifth-largest crude exporter.

A regional maritime body based in Kenya said on Saturday suspected Somali pirates had seized a Taiwanese fishing vessel off the waters of Seychelles, the second incident off Somalia in two days.

Somali sea gangs have made off with millions of dollars in ransoms by roaming the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and seizing vessels and their crews. The pirates have extended their reach southwards and towards India to avoid a flotilla of foreign navies patrolling the waters off Somalia.