Iran confronts “foreign threats” in the Gulf of Aden

Iran has sent warships to the Gulf of Aden. An opportunity for some unexpected anti-piracy collaboration? Well…maybe.

The move to dispatch the warships “is indicative of the country’s high military capability in confronting any foreign threat on the country’s shores,” Sayyari said.

The [Iranian state news agency] report did not mention the threat of pirate attacks, which, fuelled by large ransoms, have continued almost unabated despite the presence of an armada of foreign warships patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

It obviously makes no sense for the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter not to instruct its warships to ward off pirate attacks (and other reports in fact contradict the suggestion that this is the case). But why the deployment is couched in such adversarial language, when there is already an eclectic assortment of bedfellows on the anti-piracy patrol, is probably just a quirk of Iran’s need to appear bellicose to the rest of the worlds. Everybody’s interest here is protecting oil, though, so they might as well work together and cool the military chest-thumping.