IRGC Confirms Naval Drills in Persian Gulf

IRGC Confirms Naval Drills in Persian Gulf IRGC Confirms Naval Drills in Persian Gulf

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps confirmed recent reports about its naval exercise in the Persian Gulf in southern Iran and said it was part of routine drills.

Head of the IRGC public relations eepartment, General Ramezan Sharif, said the war games were held with the aim of controlling and ensuring the security of international maritime routes in the framework of the IRGC’s routine drills, Tasnim News Agency reported.

“This exercise was conducted with the aim of controlling and safeguarding the safety of the international waterway and within the framework of the program of the Guards’ annual military exercises,” Sharif said.

He “expressed satisfaction over the success of the naval exercises, emphasizing the need to maintain and enhance defense readiness,  security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and confront enemy threats.” 

IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari had expressed his gratitude to the IRGC Navy and IRGC Aerospace Force for successfully holding the drills.

In early June, President Hassan Rouhani implied that Iran could close the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which one third of the world's oil supply passes if Tehran is not allowed to export oil after America pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran is OPEC's second-largest crude exporter with more than two million barrels a day.

US officials told Reuters on Thursday that the United States believed Iran had started carrying out naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington.

US officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the drills appeared designed to send a message to Washington, which is intensifying its economic and diplomatic pressure on Tehran.

But Iran did not appear interested in drawing attention to the drills. Authorities in Tehran had not commented on them earlier and several officials contacted by Reuters this week had declined to comment.


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