Dec 28, 2012
DUBAI – Iran started on Friday six days of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz, the official IRNA news agency reported, maneuvers aimed at showcasing its military capabilities in what is a vital oil and gas shipping route.
Naval commander Habibollah Sayyari said the “Velayat 91″ drills would last until Wednesday across an area of about 1 million square kilometers in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, IRNA said.
Sayyari said the goal of the maneuvers were to show “the armed forces’ military capabilities” in defending Iran’s borders as well as sending a message of peace and friendship to neighboring countries.
Iranian officials have often said Iran could block the strait – through which 40 percent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass – if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear program.