Iranian military begins massive drill in Persian Gulf

Ground forces, navy and air force to participate in week-long exercise near Strait of Hormuz

Illustrative photo: US-made F-4 Phantom fighter jets from the Iranian air force. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)
Illustrative photo: US-made F-4 Phantom fighter jets from the Iranian air force. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)

Iran’s national army has begun a massive military drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, state TV reported on Thursday.

Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, chief of the army’s ground forces, said that the maneuvers were aimed at “transferring experiences” to a younger generations of Iranian soldiers.

Earlier this week, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian navy, was quoted by the official news site Press TV as saying that “the Islamic Republic of Iran’s might will be displayed in a joint maneuver, named Mohammad Rasoulallah, by the Army’s Ground, Naval and Air Forces and with the support of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base.”

Sayyari added that various warships, destroyers, submarines, missiles, aircraft and helicopters would be used in the drill in a bid to improve the naval forces’ power.

The first part of the drill was set to include exercises by ground units in southeast Iran. The air force and navy are to join the exercises over the weekend.

Thursday’s report said that the exercise would be carried out over 527,000 square kilometers in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, Sea of Oman and the eastern part of the passage, through which one-fifth of the world’s oil supply passes. The drill was expected to last a week.

Last week Iran said units from the powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps would participate in the exercise and new weapons would be test fired.

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