The Iranian Navy will hold a 10-day exercise in the Persian Gulf, Tehran's naval commander said Thursday.
Admiral Amir-Habibollah Sayari said that the exercise, dubbed "Velayat-90," would be launched on Saturday and 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.
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"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.
Iran has increased its military maneuvers following renewed speculation about a possible strike against its nuclear sites.
Earlier Thursday, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Islamic state's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that a team of senior UN nuclear officials could visit Iran in January and inspect its nucelar sites.
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
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