Middle East

Iran sends warships to Oman amid Gulf dispute

Flotilla will head to Oman before starting mission in international waters near Yemen, the country's navy says.

The Gulf of Aden is a strategic shipping lane which connects the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea and Suez Canal [File: Reuters]

Iran is sending two warships to Oman before they start their mission in international waters near the coast of Yemen, the country's navy has said.

The Tasnim news agency reported that the two ships, an Alborz destroyer and a Bushehr logistics warship, will depart from the port city of Bandar Abbas on Sunday for an overseas mission to Oman and then on to international waters.

"An Iranian naval flotilla will depart to Oman on Sunday and then will go to the north of the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden," the agency quoted the navy as saying.

The Gulf of Aden, which lies between the Horn of Africa and the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is a strategic shipping lane which connects the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

READ MORE: Who benefits from a weak and divided Yemen?

The move comes amid a crisis in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting "extremism".

Qatar has vehemently denied the charges.

The Qatari government said it has been leading the region in attacking what it called the roots of "terrorism", including giving young people hope through jobs, educating hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and funding community programmes to challenge the agendas of armed groups.

"Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than many of the signatories of the joint statement - a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors," the government said.

Source: News agencies