Iran, Russia Exercise Operations to Free Hijacked Vessels in Indian Ocean
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian and Russian naval forces on the second day of their joint drills in the Northern Indian Ocean exercised freedom of two hijacked ships and extinguishing fire.
“On the second day of combined wargames in the Northern Indian Ocean, and based on a scenario, the rescue operations of two cargo ships hijacked by pirates while sailing in international waters was carried out by surface and air units,” Spokesperson of the joint Iran-Russia naval exercises Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani said on Wednesday.
He explained that at this stage, after sending an emergency message by the cargo ships to the MRCC center of Chabahar, first the operation area was identified and searched by a SH3D helicopter of the Iranian Navy and then the Iran-made destroyer, Jamaran, ordered the warships stationed in the region into two groups consisting of Iranian and Russian units to liberate the vessels.
“The special operations forces of the Iranian Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navies along with Russian forces were deployed on the hijacked ships’ decks by air landing and also simultaneously penetrated from the surface, arrested the pirates and carried out the scenario of operations to free the ships,” Rear Admiral Tahani said.
He added that the scenarios included capturing the pirates, extinguishing the fire set by pirates as a smoke screen to delay the rescue operations, treatment of the wounded and finally towing the cargo vessel to a safe harbor.
Iran-Russia ‘Marine Security Belt’ drills are underway with the slogan "Collective Cooperation at Sea for the Security of Maritime Trade" in a 17,000-kilometer area with a message of peace and friendship.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Rear Admiral Tahani said security of the sea lanes in the North of the Indian Ocean is among the most important goals of the exercise.
"We emphasize that the North Indian Ocean region is one of the safest maritime regions," Tahani said in the presence of the commanders of the navies of Iranian Army, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Russia, adding that one of the goals of the joint drills is to boost security of the North Indian Ocean region.
"The North Indian Ocean is one of the most important and strategic waterways in the world and plays an important role in world trade and shipping," he went on to say.
"The security of shipping lines in this region, especially in the area between the Strait of Hormuz, the Malacca Strait and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, guarantees the preservation of economic interests in the world, which requires the cooperation and convergence of different navies," the spokesman noted.
"Many countries navigate the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean, which are key areas of world trade, and therefore maintaining maritime security is crucial," Tahani stated.
He said that improving combat readiness, achieving collective security and exchanging experience in the field of counter-terrorism and piracy are important goals of this exercise.
Also, on Tuesday, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced that the Indian Navy is going to join the Iran-Russia joint naval exercises.
“Since last year, the Navy has put on the agenda a series of joint maritime security drills with the participation of countries in the region and the world," Khanzadi said, adding, "This time, the Russian Navy joined the exercise site, and the Indian Navy is scheduled to join the combined maritime security exercise."
"Last year, the Chinese Navy had joined the powerful navies of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This year, as the exercise coincides with Chinese New Year, they announced that their navy would join the exercise after their New Year," the commander noted.
"The overall goal of the exercise is to achieve collective security at the regional level, which will help sustain security in the North Indian Ocean in a sustainable way for the benefit of stakeholders," Khanzadi said.
"The feature of this year's exercise is the joining of the Indian Navy. India is one of the most powerful navies in the region. The presence of the navy in the exercise is very important for India and Iran," he stressed.
"The combination of efforts that are taking place in the Indian Ocean region shows that the regional countries, especially those with naval powers, are becoming more convergent than ever in order to achieve collective security. It means that the Global Arrogance must realize that it must leave the region,” the commander highlighted.