Iran held a naval drill this morning, firing long-range missiles in the Persian Gulf as a show of force, just days after threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz if Iranian oil is put under sanctions.
The Fars News Agency reported that the 10-day drill includes firing long- and short-range missiles from coast to sea, surface to surface and surface to air from naval vessels.
Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, the deputy commander of the Iranian navy, had said earlier: “The firing of missiles is the final part of the navy drill. The final phase of the drill is to prepare the navy for confronting the enemy in war situations.”
Today he went on to add: “In this part of the drill, defusing electronic warfare and electronic counter-measures, the final testing of satellite systems and telecommunications equipment, maritime patrol operations and the firing of navy artillery systems were carried out.”
The drill comes after Iranian Vice-President Mohammadreza Rahimi warned that Iran will not allow “one drop of oil” to get through the Strait of Hormuz if the West imposes sanctions on Iranian oil.
Western countries have been discussing that possibility in response to disputes over Iran’s nuclear program.
The West suspects Iran of pursuing military objectives as part of its nuclear program, while Iran insists its nuclear activities are completely peaceful.
The U.S. Navy, which has its fifth fleet based in the gulf, said it would not allow Iran to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.
Revolutionary Guards Commander Hossein Salami dismissed the U.S. Navy statement, adding that Iran is ready to “respond to any threat in kind.”
The Strait of Hormuz is used to transport all oil exports from Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar as well as most crude exports from Saudi Arabia and UAE.