gCaptain is carrying a story about the Iranian Navy raiding an Iranian-Owned bulk carrier that had been captured by pirates:
Both Somalia Report and the Tehran Times are reporting that the M/V Eglantine, a Bolivian-flagged and Iranian-owned bulk carrier hijacked by Somali pirates just over a week ago, has been freed from pirate control.
According to the reports, the vessel was freed after a team of Iranian commandos stormed the vessel, capturing as many as 12 pirates in the raid and freeing both the vessel and hostages.
The Tehran Times, citing a public statement made by an Iranian Navy official, said the vessel was released after 36 hour operation launched from the Iranian navy destroyer, Jamaran, and adds that the pirates have since been transferred to Iranian soil.
The M/V Englantine was hijacked on March 26 approximately 200 nm southwest of Minicoy Island, India while carrying a cargo of sugar from Brazil to Iran. The status of the 23 crewmembers onboard when the vessel was attacked is unknown at this time.
While I believe that the ship was released and the Iranian Navy was probably involved (though I’d be willing to wager that the pirates surrendered as opposed to being a commando raid – that would be the standard for these types of operations), their follow-on claim is somewhat dubious:
UPDATE: According to Iran’s Naval Commander (and Iran’s PressTV), Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Iran’s navy has over 11,000 men and 19 vessels in the Indian Ocean to counter pirate attacks and has received the coveted “Strategic Defence Award” from the IMO.
19 ships is a HUGE contribution, much larger than any other Navy has doing CP ops. That numbers is is significantly larger than their entire Nav, and even if it weren’t, the vast majority of their Naval assets are most certainly NOT deployed out-of-area conducting Counter-Piracy But hey, can’t blame them for trying a PR grab.