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Commander Blames Arab Sheikhdoms for Growing Sea Piracy in Gulf of Aden
Fars News Agency
Saturday, July 28, 2012

A senior Iranian military commander accused some Arab Sheikhs from the UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia of sponsoring Somali pirates.
Speaking to FNA, Commander of the IRGC Special Naval Force Unit General Mohammad Nazzeri said that aliens from across the globe are siphoning out Somalia's wealth and are exploiting the sea reserves of that country, adding that this has caused poverty in Somalia and made the region more dangerous.

"The pirates of the Gulf of Aden are simple fishers but their sponsors and main leaders are Sheikhs of the UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia," the commander said.

"They provide the Somalis with money, weapons and equipments so that they hijack ships," Nazzeri explained, and added that these Sheikhs leave no trace behind in their financial and arms aids to the Somali pirates.

In similar remarks in June, Director-General of Iran's Ports and Shipping Organization for Maritime Affairs Ali Estiri underlined the necessity of collective efforts by the international community to fight sea piracy in the world.

The phenomenon has various political and security aspects, and consensus and collective efforts by the international community are essential in an all-out fight against piracy, Estiri said.

He said that Iran will maintain its "powerful presence" in the high seas as long as piracy exists.

Estiri further noted that the issue of piracy has been on the rise in the recent years, especially off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean.

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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