Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Iranian commander blames foreign hands for piracy in region

Monday, May 28, 2012

A senior Iranian naval commander says hidden hands are behind the rampant pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean.

Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholamreza Khadem Bigham said Sunday that there are many hands at work to fund and facilitate pirate activities off the Somali coast and in the high seas.

He said the cause of piracy is rooted either in coercion or poverty, adding that the lucrative fishing industry off the Somali coast by other countries has caused Somalia’s agriculture and fishing sectors to become stagnant.

Most of pirate attacks used to occur in the Gulf of Aden, a major route for international cargo ships and oil tankers. However, pirates have increased the range of their attacks targeting ships as far as in the Indian Ocean, Rear Admiral Khadem Bigham pointed out.

This means that pirate attacks in the mentioned areas can be launched only by those closely familiar with the territories. Ordinary Somali farmers or seamen, therefore, do not have the ability to launch such attacks, the senior Iranian naval commander said.

He added that all the above facts show that pirate attacks are well-organized and supported by hidden hands.



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