Iran Launches Operation in Red Sea, Gulf of Aden to Secure Commercial Shipping Assets

© Photo : Screenshot / YouTubeIran's Dena Warship. Screengrab of YouTube video.
Iran's Dena Warship. Screengrab of YouTube video. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.02.2022
The Islamic Republic has long proposed the creation of security arrangement under which regional powers, rather than “outsiders” such as the United States, provide maritime security in the region.
A three-ship Iranian Navy flotilla has begun a security operation to escort Iranian merchant ships and oil tankers traveling through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, task force commander Shahram Irani has announced.
The 80th Flotilla includes the Dena destroyer, the Bandar Abbas replenishment ship and the Tunb combat support ship.
Irani noted that in addition to serving as a training opportunity for new officers, the operation could allow Iran to further its maritime diplomacy, with the 80th Flotilla expected to make port calls to friendly neighbouring countries during its mission, conditions permitting.
The commander did not elaborate on which countries may be visited for port calls. Nations bordering on the Red Sea include Israel – Iran’s sworn adversary in the region, as well as Saudi Arabia, another nation that the Islamic Republic has had difficult relations with in recent years, but with which it has sought to mend ties. Other Red Sea border states include Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen, a nation engulfed in a long-running, foreign-backed conflict. The Gulf of Aden is adjacent to Yemen, Djibouti and Somalia.
Iran has deployed warships to the region for years, including to join other countries in battling Somali pirates.
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Iranian oil tankers travelling through the area have suffered repeated attacks, particularly those attempting to bring emergency fuel aid to Syria. Last year, Israeli media reported that Tel Aviv had caused Iran “billions of dollars” in losses with attacks on the tankers. Iran implicitly confirmed that such attacks were taking place last August. Israel has refrained from commenting publicly.
Iran’s Navy and the separate Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy are largely tasked with guarding the Middle Eastern nation’s 2,815 km coastline, much of which runs adjacent to the highly sensitive waters of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. Last year, the Navy showed off its long-range power projection capabilities by sailing the Makran mobile sea base and Sahand destroyer on a 44,000 km journey to St. Petersburg, Russia and back.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) steams through the night in the Gulf of Oman - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2022
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