Iran warns foreign planes near Strait of Hormuz during 5-day naval drill
TEHRAN (AP) - Iran's navy issued dozens of warnings to foreign planes and warships that approached its forces during a five-day sea manoeuvre near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a semi-official news agency reported on Tuesday.
Mehr quoted Admiral Amir Rastgari, spokesman for the exercise, as saying that naval and air defence forces on 30 occasions warned off reconnaissance planes, drones and warships belonging to "extraregional forces" that approached the drill, using a term that the Islamic Republic commonly employs to refer to the militaries of the US and its allies.
The five-day naval drill, dubbed Velayat-91, is Iran's latest show of strength in the face of mounting pressures over its disputed nuclear programme. The West suspects it may be aimed at producing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.
Iran has threatened to close the strait over Western sanctions but has not repeated the threats lately. The strait is the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil supply.