The Iranian Navy has deployed a fifth fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers from pirate attacks, according to a senior Iranian commander.

Iran First Naval Zone commander Fariborz Qaderpanah said during the 40-day deployment, the fifth fleet of warships would defend Iranian cargo ships and oil tankers.

“The first four fleets of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy secured the safe passage of more than 1,000 cargo ships and oil tankers from the Gulf of Aden,” he said.

The fifth fleet is formed as a combined force from the navy’s first and third naval zones while Iran is preparing to form its sixth fleet of warships to be dispatched to the Gulf of Aden, according to

Two warships named Lavan and Chiro dispatched from the first naval zone, were also included in the fifth fleet sent for the extraterritorial mission to the Gulf of Aden.

This is the first time that a warship from the third naval zone has been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden, according to Qaderpanah.

Since November 2008, the Iranian Navy has been actively participating in anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.