The flotilla, which is the first dispatched to the Atlantic, but the 29th one dispatched to the international waters, consists of Khark logistic and helicopter-carrier warship and Sabalan destroyer. The warships should sail 25,000 nautical kilometers in the next three months.
Addressing Iranian commanders, Navy personnel, sailors and crews in a ceremony to bid farewell to the flotilla, Admiral Moussavi said Iran has a message of peace and friendship for the world states and seeks to show its defensive power to the world by sending its fleets of warships to the international waters.
In December another senior Iranian commander announced the country’s plans to deploy warships in the Atlantic Ocean.
“The previous flotillas of warships were sent to the Mediterranean Sea and passed the Suez Channel and even sailed through the Pacific Ocean and the China Sea,” Commander of the Navy’s Fourth Naval Zone Admiral Afshin Rezayee told FNA last month.
“Now we intend to enter the Atlantic Ocean and this will be materialized after dispatch of the next flotillas of warships,” he added.
In relevant remarks in November, Sayyari said that Iran plans to dispatch its next flotilla of warships to the high seas in early 2014 to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks.
“The Navy’s next flotilla will be dispatched to either the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic on January 21-Feb 20,” he said.
He underlined that the Navy’s flotilla will pass through the Mediterranean Sea to reach the Atlantic Ocean.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden - which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea - is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.
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