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Iran to use force against pirates if talks fail


Tehran : Iran Monday said it might consider taking military action to free its cargo vessel which was hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast last week if the talks failed, the official IRNA news agency reported.

In a press briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said Iran preferred the problem to be settled through an international cooperation, including maritime groups, the UN and countries involved in the case.

But “we have estimated all appropriate measures that can be put on the table”, the spokesman said when asked whether his country would take military action against the pirates.

Qashqavi said that a committee deputed by the African side has been formed to follow up the case and three Iranian embassies in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are working to take delivery of the cargo ship.

He described the process of piracy as mysterious and ambiguous, and said that the case should be internationally pursued within the United Nations regulations.

He said that those who claim that they dominate the seas are responsible for these actions.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Ali Taheri said in an interview with the Tehran daily Etemad that if negotiations failed, the Islamic country would not hesitate to use force to retrieve the vessel.

The Iranian cargo vessel ‘Delight’ carrying 25 crew members from India, Iran, the Philippines, Pakistan and Ghana was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden Nov 19.