The Iranian Navy’s 30th fleet of warships has rescued Iran-flagged vessel from pirate attacks near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait in the Gulf of Aden.

Iran Navy commander Habibollah Sayyari said that the pirates first attacked the Iranian vessel with eight armed speed boats in the early hours of 2 June; however, the naval fleet thwarted their attempt.

"The pirates first attacked the Iranian vessel with eight armed speed boats in the early hours."

A few hours later, the assailants returned with 15 speed boats but the naval unit reacted, forcing them to leave, Sayyari added.

The 30th fleet of warships, which comprises the Alvand destroyer, Bushehr logistic vessel and a helicopter, was deployed in to international waters in April this year as part of a mission to protect Iranian vessels against pirate attacks.

The fleet sails across the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb strait and the northern Indian Ocean.

In recent years, Iran has been strengthening its presence in international waters to safeguard merchant vessels and oil tankers, as well as protect its naval routes.

The country has been performing anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in the wake of increased pirate activities in the waters.

Last month, the 30th fleet of the Iranian naval forces rescued an Indian oil tanker from a pirate attack in the Red Sea.