Iran kicks off annual drill near key Strait of Hormuz
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Iran kicks off annual drill near key Strait of Hormuz

Exercise does not involve Revolutionary Guard, which has clashed in past with US Navy

A member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards chants slogans after attacking a naval vessel during a military drill in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran, February 25, 2015. (Hamed Jafarnejad/AFP/Fars News)
A member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards chants slogans after attacking a naval vessel during a military drill in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran, February 25, 2015. (Hamed Jafarnejad/AFP/Fars News)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s armed forces kicked off an annual two-day drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz Monday morning, the country’s state-run media reported.

The strait is a key waterway through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes and it has been the scene of previous confrontations between the United States and Iran.

The drill does not involve Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force the US Navy often criticizes for harassing its vessels.

Iran has previously harassed US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and around the Strait of Hormuz, with the most notable case being Iran’s capture of 10 US Navy sailors in January 2016 who had drifted into Iranian waters after experiencing mechanical problems.

Monday’s report said the navy, air force and ground forces will participate in the exercise in the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean near the strait.

Iranian Navy Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said the drill shows off Iran’s capabilities.

Satellite view of the Strait of Hormuz (photo credit: NASA/Public domain)
Satellite view of the Strait of Hormuz (photo credit: NASA/Public domain)
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