By Ladane Nasseri
Iran’s navy wrapped up a six-day military drill around the Strait of Hormuz aimed at displaying the country’s readiness to defend the waterway.
Navy spokesman Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari praised operational units’ swift response after the military exercise ended yesterday, according to a report published by state-run Press TV. The drill covered an area extending to the Sea of Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean and involved testing defensive and missile systems, combat vessels and submarines, Rastegari said in a state-run Fars news agency report yesterday.
Iran, which regularly announces military procedures, is entangled in a dispute with western powers over its nuclear program, which they allege may be aimed at developing atomic weapons, a charge the Persian Gulf country rejects. Israel has said “all options are on the table,” including military strikes, to prevent Iran from building a bomb.
Iran said it successfully test-fired the locally-built Rahd surface-to-air-missile and the short-range cruise missile Nasr on Dec. 31, the fourth day of the drill. The Navy also test- fired the Ghader coast-to-sea cruise missile and the Nour surface-to-surface missile the following day, Press TV said.
The country’s latest combat helicopter, Toufan II, which is equipped with precise targeting, digital firing control and night vision, was unveiled yesterday, the state-run Mehr news agency said.
The Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman is a transit point for about 20 percent of the world’s traded oil. Iranian officials have at times threatened to close down the waterway if their country’s national security was endangered.