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Iran’s Navy thwarted on Monday an attempted pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden south of Yemen, before the vessel entered the Bab el Mandeb strait connecting the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, Iranian media report.
The Navy fired warning shots and repelled pirates who had tried to attack an Iranian oil tanker with four boats, the Navy of the Islamic Republic said in a statement carried by Iranian Press TV.
Iran has been expanding its Navy presence in the Gulf of Aden since 2008 to protect its tankers from pirates. Somali pirates have been active in areas close to the Horn of Africa, which is separated by the Arabian Peninsula by the Bab el Mandeb strait.
Monday’s incident reported by Iranian media is the second such attempted pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the past few weeks.
In the middle of October, the Iranian Navy foiled another attempted pirate attack on an Iranian oil vessel in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates on five speedboats tried to attack the tanker but were repelled by fire from the Iranian Navy, which was protecting the tanker, state media reported at the time.
According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), “During the first three months of 2021, there was only one incident of reported piracy around Somalia. A bulk carrier reported a skiff with armed persons and a ladder approaching it while underway in the Gulf of Aden. The onboard armed security team fired warning shots resulting in the skiff moving away.”
IMB’s latest global piracy report from last month, with figures updated through the first nine months of 2021, showed 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021 – the lowest level of reported incidents since 1994. In 2021, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) reported 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com