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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran welcomes Saudi cooperation proposal with Iranian Navy fleet

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Feb 8, IRNA -- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast welcomed Saudi Arabia's cooperation proposal with Iranian Navy's fleet of warships on Wednesday.

The official made the remarks in response to a question posed by a journalist.

The Iranian Navy dispatched its 18th flotilla of warships to the Gulf of Aden on January 21 to protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against Somali pirates.

The Iranian Navy's fleet of warships is comprised of Khark warship and Shahid Naqdi destroyer.

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has declared that the navy ships' 70-80-day mission is aimed at demonstrating Iran's power in the high seas.

While enemies try to portray Iran's growing power as a threat to the regional states, the Admiral indicated that such missions prove that Iran's military power is used to defend the region and can, thus, defuse the plot hatched by the enemies to spread Iranophobia.

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 through the Suez Canal.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30808003



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