Iran has dispatched a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying support ship to Gulf of Aden “to provide security for Islamic Republic vessels in international waters”, the chief of staff of Iran’s army announced.
Admiral Habibollah Sayari added that the two warships, destroyer Sahand and helicopter ship Kharg, will “escort” commercial vessels in the Sea of Oman and the Gulf of Aden.
In late 2018, Iran had claimed the two warships were dispatched to South America as part of efforts to expand its naval presence around the world.
The Gulf of Aden lies south of Yemen and on the east it connects with the Arabian Sea, which in turn joins the Sea of Oman to further north.
The announcement comes at a time of heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region, where the United States has been trying to assemble a coalition to protect shipping, after attacks in May June targeting oil tankers and the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran in July.
Destroyer Sahand was launched in late 2018 and is equipped with naval artillery and surface -to-surface missiles, as well as of a helicopter pad. At its inauguration ceremony, the commander of army’s navy had said Sahand is the most advanced warship in Iran’s navy.