Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iran Kicks Off Naval Exercise Near Strait of Hormuz

Iran Kicks Off Naval Exercise Near Strait of Hormuz

Thursday, 10 September, 2020 - 09:00
In this July 2020 photo, smoke rises following a strike on a target during a military exercise by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. (File photo: AP)

Iran’s military began its annual drill in the Gulf near the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway which will last for several days. Naval, air and ground forces, including submarines and drones, were participating in the drill.

The three-day exercise is aimed at improving Tehran’s military might to confront “foreign threats and any possible invasion”, the commander of the manoeuvre, Admiral Habibollah Sardari said.

One of the exercise's objectives is to devise "tactical offensive and defensive strategies for safeguarding the country's territorial waters and shipping lanes.

The navy will test-fire surface-to-surface and shore-to-sea cruise missiles and torpedoes, and rocket-launching systems fitted on warships, submarines, aircraft and drones, according to Iran's military.

Dubbed "Zolfaghar 99", the exercise will be held over two million square kilometres (772,000 square miles) of sea stretching from the northern part of the Indian Ocean to the eastern end of the Strait of Hormuz.

In July, Iran's IRGC blasted a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier with missiles during an exercise near the Strait of Hormuz, AFP reported.

The US Navy condemned those manoeuvres as "irresponsible and reckless", and an attempt "to intimidate and coerce".

Tensions between Iran and the United States have soared since President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran in 2018 and unilaterally reimposed crippling economic sanctions.

Editor Picks