Iran to hold biggest naval war games

January 6th, 2012 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran plans to hold new and “massive” naval exercises near the strategic Strait of Hormuz within the next few weeks, Fars news agency reported Friday.

The report came as Tehran’s tensions with the West continue to escalate following threats of new sanctions against the Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear programme.

The report cited Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi as saying that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps was planning to conduct “its greatest naval war games” near the Strait of Hormuz in the near future.

The announcement came just days after the Iranian Navy completed a 10-day naval exercise near the Strait of Hormuz.

The drills were held after the Islamic republic threatened to block the waterway, through which an estimated 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes, in response to Western plans to ban oil imports from Iran.

The Islamic republic derives some 60 percent of its revenues from oil exports.

The newly announced Iraninan drills, codenamed The Great Prophet, may coincide with major naval exercises that Israel and the US are planning to hold in the Persian Gulf in the near future.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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