TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian pilots will hold a military drill over the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the waterway for one-fifth of the world’s oil tanker traffic, the acting chief of Iran’s air force said Thursday.

General Ali Reza Barkhor said the maneuvers are part of annual exercises meant to show off Iran’s air defense capabilities and military readiness.

Barkhor told state TV that the exercise will also extend into the Persian Gulf waters. In past years, Iran had threatened to block the waterway in retaliation for international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, but Tehran no longer issues such warnings.

Barkhor says the two-day drill is to begin on Friday.

Iran’s air force has US and Russian-made fighter planes as well as their home-made replicas.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.