Photo: Iranian Alvand class frigate at sea.
Iranian warships thwarted an attempted pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in international waters on Sunday.
The Iranian Navy stated that the ship was attacked by two pirate boats just 20 miles off Masirah Island off the coast of Oman. Once alerted, the fleet of warships hurried to the scene and forced the pirates to flee by performing successful defensive operations and using heavy firepower, reported Fars News Agency.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali hijackers raided the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
Different countries are permitted to send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters off Somalia to defend merchant vessels against pirates. The Gulf of Aden - which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea - is an important energy passageway, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West through the Suez Canal.