Navy comdr defends presence of Iran naval fleet in Gulf of Aden

Tehran, April 30, IRNA – Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Thursday that presence of the 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy in the Gulf of Aden is in accordance with international law to protect Iranian trade vessels against pirates.

Sayyari was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to mark the National Teacher's Day.

Sayyari said that the Iranian Navy has maintained a continuous presence in the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait and western India since 2008.

Claims that Iranian warships have been warned and that they have left this region are not correct, Sayyari said.

The Navy commander reiterated that the Iranian fleet does not enter territorial waters of other countries and is only present in international waters to ensure security for Iranian trade vessels.

Sayyari said that the 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy has also helped other countries in protecting their ships against pirates.