The Iranian Navy has launched a 10-day exercise
east of the Strait of Hormuz, the official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.
Submarines, missile boats, helicopters and unmanned drones are expected to take part in the drill, dubbed "Velayat-90." The naval forces are also to practice firing missiles of various ranges, including the torpedo missiles.
The Strait of Hormuz, where the maneuvers are to take place, is one of the most significant channels for oil exportation from the Persian Gulf.
Previous Iranian Navy drill (Photo: AP)
Admiral Amir-Habibollah Sayari said earlier this week that the exercise will span a 1,250-mile (2,000-kilometer) stretch of sea off the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula and into the Gulf of Aden, near the entrance to the Red Sea.
"The maneuvers will be carried out with the intention of displaying the determination, defensive and deterrent power of the Iranian armed forces as well as relaying a message of peace and friendship in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman and the free waters of the Indian Ocean," Sayari said.
An Iranian MP warned recently that the army is set to practice closing the strategically important Hormuz waterway. The report caused oil prices to rise due to fears that Iran
would attempt to disrupt the world's oil supply as result of Western nations' threats to place economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Iran holds highly publicized military drills
and weapon tests annually in an attempt to ward of attacks on its nuclear facilities.