Iran launched naval drills yesterday, as part of its annual exercises that will be held in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Bab el-Mandab and northern parts of the Indian Ocean. The Iranian navy said the exercises aim at preparing the Iranian navy in the first against terrorism and piracy. Navy ships, submarines and helicopters will take part in the drills across an area of about 2 million square kilometers and marines will showcase their skills along Iran’s southeastern coast.
The exercises come just one month after a US Navy destroyer fired warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels near the Strait of Hormuz after they closed in at high speed. The vessels belonged to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards which are not participating in the current war games. The United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in the region and protects shipping lanes in the Gulf and nearby waters, where millions of barrels of oil are transported daily to Europe, the United States and Asia.