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Iranian Navy CMDR: Outside powers funding Somali pirates to undermine Iranian economy

Hiiraan Online
Monday January 8, 2018

Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi/ PHOTO: Mehr News Agency

Mogadishu (HOL) - An Iranian Naval Commander has said that piracy off the coast of Somalia is being fuelled by certain powers to undermine the economy of Iran.

Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said that he believes "coordinators and perpetrators" tried to pass it off as something "natural", but had a more sinister motive behind the attacks.

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Mehr News Agency - an Iranian news agency headquartered in Tehran- quoted the rear admiral as he spoke to a welcoming ceremony for the return of a naval fleet, "there was a tremendous attempt at depicting the presence of piracy off the coast of Somalia as something natural, but the acts of piracy reveal certain coordinators and perpetrators behind this new phenomenon in the 21st century.” Khanzadi added that the powers behind piracy are supplying Somali pirates with intelligence, equipment and funding.

Iranian flagged vessels have been involved in a number of high profile incidents off the Somali coast in 2017. On May 23rd, 2017, Somali pirates hijacked an unlicensed Iranian fishing vessel. In early October, Puntland Maritime Police Forces shot and killed an Iranian sailor in the Indian ocean. Officials said the boat was carrying two tons of fish illegally caught in Somali waters. On November 27, 2017, Iran's 48th fleet repelled a pirate attack on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden.

The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy controls since 2008. Their fleets are dispatched to safeguard Iranian flagged vessels involved in the maritime trade in the Gulf of Aden.

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