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Iran holds naval parade in the Persian Gulf amid regional tensions

Iranian state TV says hundreds of boats participate in exercise

Illustrative: Two Iranian warships approach Iran's southeastern port city of Chahbahar, in the Gulf of Oman, December 27, 2019. (Iranian Army via AP)
Illustrative: Two Iranian warships approach Iran's southeastern port city of Chahbahar, in the Gulf of Oman, December 27, 2019. (Iranian Army via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Saturday held a naval parade in the Persian Gulf, state TV reported, amid heightened regional tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The naval rally was performed near Iran’s Farsi Island, where Iranian forces seized two US navy boats and 10 crew members for less than one day in January 2016.

Footage showed scores of vessels took part in the maneuver. Iranian state TV said hundreds of boats participated.

Last week, Iran seized a South Korean oil tanker and its crew members in the Gulf, which it has continued to hold at an Iranian port.

Last year, Iran similarly seized a British-flagged oil tanker and held it for months after one of its tankers was held off Gibraltar.

Iran periodically holds military maneuvers in the Gulf waters and elsewhere in the country that it says aim to improve the readiness of its armed forces. Earlier on Tuesday, Iran held a massive drone-only drill coordinated across different points in the country.

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