Somali pirates have attacked hundreds of vessels in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean region, though most attacks do not result in a successful hijacking.
The Panama-registered cargo ship, belonging to Nanjing Ocean Shipping Company in eastern China, was hijacked on Friday morning, The pirates seized the ship in international waters, 45 miles off Bandar Jask close to Strait of Hormuz.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, on an average day in 2011, about 14 tankers carrying 17 million barrels (2,700,000 m3) of crude oil passed out of the Persian Gulf through the Strait. This was said to represent 35% of the world's seaborne oil shipments, and 20% of oil traded worldwide.
A senior Iranian Navy commander raised the possibility of politically-tainted support for piracy in the region.Iran's naval forces on Friday rescued a Chinese freighter and 28 crew members arrested nine Somali pirates.
If any disruption happens regarding the sale of Iranian oil, the Strait of Hormuz will definitely be closed," Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, told the semi-official Fars news agency.
Somali pirates are poor and simple people without any expertise and there might be sort of support behind their activities, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem Biqam told reporters on Saturday.
He added that acting as a pirate needs special knowledge and expertise and pirates' activities are impossible without guidance, support and logistics.
The Iranian official also said that the vessel carried ironware and was heading towards the Iranian port of Imam Khomeini.