Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard plans to hold naval maneuvers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz late this month or early in the next, a move that's likely to heighten tension at a time when the West is at a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program.
A report by the official Iran News Agency quoted the Revolutionary Guard's naval chief, Admiral Morteza Saffari, as saying the war games at Hormuz were designed to show the force's "comprehensive power and readiness for confronting any probable threat."
More than 40 percent of the world oil and energy supply passes through the strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran had in the past threatened to close the strait if attacked.
The United States, its western allies and Israel believe Iran is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon, a charge that Tehran consistently denies. Iran, which is under several sets of UN sanctions over its nuclear program, says its nuclear program is peaceful and designed solely to generate electricity.