Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi continued Tehran's heated rhetoric against the West on Wednesday, decrying the presence of foreign military forces near the Strait of Hormuz.
"The presence of extra-regional powers in the Persian Gulf is unhelpful and damaging and their presence has no result other than turbulence in the region," he told reporters following a cabinet meeting, according to a Tehran Times
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Vahidi added that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is planning on
holding another military exercise in the near future, according to
Iran's student newspaper ISNA
Iran recently concluded a ten-day naval drill
during which it test fired two long-range missiles. Iran said that it
was using the test to display its resolve in countering any attack by
enemies such as Israel or the United States.
The Iranian defense minister's comments followed an Iranian threat Tuesday
that the country would "take action" if the US Navy were to move an aircraft carrier into the Gulf. The statement made by Iran's Army chief Ataollah Salehi
was Tehran's most aggressive yet after weeks of saber-rattling
following new US and EU financial sanctions took a toll on its economy.
The prospect of sanctions targeting the oil sector
in a serious way for the first time has hit Iran's rial currency, which
fell by 40 percent against the dollar in the past month. It recovered
20% of its value Wednesday through intervention by Iran's Central Bank.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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