Iran thumbs nose at West with six-day naval exercise in Strait of Hormuz

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Iran is to begin six days of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz at the end of this week, to showcase its military capabilities.

Iranian officials have often said Iran could block the strait – through which 40 per cent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass – if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear programme.

Iran held a similar ten-day drill last December and sent a submarine and a destroyer into the Gulf four months ago, at the same time as United States and allied navies were conducting exercises in the same waters.

Iranian naval commander Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying the forthcoming drill would test the navy’s missile systems, combat ships, submarines and patrol and reconnaissance methods.

The drills will be held from Friday to Wednesday across an area of about 1 million square kilometres in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, Mr Sayyari said, according to Iranian media.