As per the FNA, the IRIN’s Hendijan class destroyer, Bahregan was the first to reach the scene. The pirates who had surrounded the cargo vessel in several speed boats, made a hasty escape as they saw the Iranian warship approaching. However, it is not immediately known whether the fleeing pirates were pursued by the IRIN warship or not. As per the UN Security Council resolutions, naval vessels belonging to other nations can enter the territorial waters of Somalia, if they are in pursuit of armed pirates. In such cases, prior permission from the Somali authorities is not necessary.
IRIN has been active in the Gulf of Aden for the last four years with its anti-piracy operations. The decision to patrol the region was provoked by the hijacking of MV Delight, a Hong Kong registered cargo ship, which was chartered to Iran. The ship was attacked by pirates on November 2008, when it was cruising along the Yemeni coast. The crew were released after three months, after its owner, the DG shipping paid a very heavy ransom to the pirates. The ship, which was hijacked on its way to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, was reportedly carrying 40,000 tonnes of wheat.
Although the Gulf of Aden route is one of the most unsafe shipping routes in the world, it experiences very high traffic throughout the year. The reason is that it links the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal. There are no alternate route available for cargo ships which transport crude oil and other merchandise from Asia to Europe or vice versa.
Efthymios Mitropoulos, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization last year appreciated the IRIN for its efforts to reduce the incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Although the IRIN states that although its primary objective is to protect the ships owned by Iran, it will continue to try its best to offer protection to all the ships which travel through the region.