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Iran starts military drills in Gulf, off Strait of Hormuz

The military exercise, code-named “Payambar e Azam 14” or the Greatest Messenger, is the largest of its kind in the region.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) yesterday kicked off large-scale military drills in the Gulf off the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Anadolu reported.

The military exercise, code-named “Payambar e Azam 14” or the Greatest Messenger, is the largest of its kind in the region.

The drills will be monitored by Iran’s Nour-1 satellite, a multi-purpose Iranian domestic satellite that was launched into space on 22 April.

According to IRGC’s news portal Sepah News, several regiments from IRGC’s navy and aerospace divisions are participating in the high-profile military exercise, featuring missiles, vessels, drones and radars.

The units would use mock enemy targets during the drills and practice maneuvers to cut off connection lines of enemy vessels, Iran’s state-owned Press TV reported.

READ: Iran plans oil exports from the Gulf of Oman to secure crude flow

It further said that the combat helicopters will practice targeting enemy positions with coast-to-sea missiles.

On Monday, satellite images showed a mock-up US aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, suggesting that the IRGC would use the fake vessel as a target in the military drills.

Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated in recent months, since the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack in Baghdad in early January.

The Gulf region, where both Iran and the US have a presence, has seen frequent confrontations between the vessels belonging to the two countries. Iran is opposed to the presence of US vessels in the region.

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