Iranian General Habibollah Sayyari, the Deputy Army Chief for Coordination Affairs and former commander of the Iranian navy, said during a February 5, 2019 interview on Channel 4 TV (Iran) that Iran has been present in international waters since 2008, when the Supreme Leader gave the order to do so. He added that Iran rescued a Chinese ship from pirates in 2012 and that the operation inspired the Hollywood movie “Captain Phillips.”

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