Iran’s Navy has thwarted a potential “pirate attack” on an oil tanker that had set sail for the Gulf of Aden. Four boats that had six pirates on each were on their way to hijack the tanker that had set sail toward the strait of Bab-el Mandeb. Fortunately, they had been scared away by an Iranian Navy squad, per Tasnim News Agency.
The report also suggests the pirates tried hijacking the ship. They could not proceed as they were scared by warning shots.
This is not the only instance where Iranian naval forces repelled pirate attacks on vessels. During mid-October, the state television also reported that five pirate ships had attacked two oil tankers. However, they had been successfully scared away by strong Iranian forces.
The Bab-el Mandeb Strait happens to be one of the world’s most crucial waterways. Flowing straight into the Red Sea, it dominates one of the most essential global shipping routes. Its narrow passages and proximity to the coast of Somali make it a favorable spot for pirates to attack.
The UK Maritime and Trade Organization (UKMTO) in the quarterly report said that pirate attacks had come down, though non-piracy incidents like drone strikes had been increasing. The UKMTO tends to record only those engagements and not the incidents, wherein pirates had been warded off.
The attacks are typically carried out via fast boats that draw alongside the larger vessels. The pirates quickly climb aboard with the help of ladders. They take control of the vessel and crew members, demanding a ransom.
Piracy rates have dramatically dropped over recent years owing to the deployment of armed security guards on vessels and naval forces in the subsequent areas.
Iran officials have reportedly said that the navy has expanded its presence to protect shipping. It has also been sending oil tankers via the Red Sea toward Lebanon to provide oil to alleviate the fuel crisis primarily at the behest of Iran-backed Hezbollah, a terror group Hezbollah. The Lebanese government has opposed this as a breach of sovereignty.