Iran holds naval drills, asks US warship to stay away

FILE PHOTO © Stringer Iran
Iran has warned a US warship that it should leave an area in the Sea of Oman, where the Iranian navy is holding a major military exercise.

After the Islamic Republic's navy warned the vessel it quickly left the area, according to Tasnim news agency.

The tactical phase of the Velayat-94 war games kicked off Wednesday in a 3 million-square kilometer area of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, the Tasnim news agency reported. Tehran is testing its submarines, destroyers and coastal missile batteries as well as communications and electronic warfare stations.

"The maneuvers aim to show Iranian forces' strength both in ensuring security on the seas and in defending the country's sea borders in the Hormuz Strait, the Sea of Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean," Rear-Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

The drill comes shortly after the successful resolution of a diplomatic conflict between the US and Iran over two US Navy boats, which entered Iranian territorial waters and were detained by the Revolutionary Guards’ navy.

The 10 American sailors were briefly released as Tehran confirmed that a navigational error was to blame for the incident.