MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali pirates have launched new attack on Iranian-flagged- oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.
Iran’s Naval Forces repelled an attack by pirates in a gun battle off Somalia’s coast on Thursday, according Iran’s state television.
The TV said a tanker with a cargo of 150 tonnes attacked by heavily armed men with 11 speedboats.
It is the first the attack was carried out by Somali pirates since the start of this year.
Last month, Iran has deported 13 Somali nationals, who served several years in jails for piracy allegations.
In a statement by Iran’s Justice Ministry said 13 Somali citizens held in Iran’s Evin Prison are expected to return to Mogadishu.
.Iran is holding in its prisons about 60 Somali prisoners, most of them fishermen and some pirate suspects, reports said.
Experts believe illegal Fishing by countries like Iran and China played a part in the emergence of piracy.
Iranian boats regularly violate Somali territorial waters, according to experts.
The Iran is “unlikely” to lead to restoration of diplomatic ties with Somalia.
Somalia cut ties with Iran in 2016 for “meddling” internal affairs but some diplomats said at the time Somalia decision was influenced by Saudi Arabia.