Iranian and Chinese destroyers hold joint drill in Persian Gulf

US watches with concern as Mideast foe trains with rival power

June 18, 2017 14:54
1 minute read.
File: Military vessels from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps at the Strait of Hormuz

File: Military vessels from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps at the Strait of Hormuz. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iran and China began a joint naval exercise in the Gulf on Sunday, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

The military drill comes at a time of heightened tension between the Iranian and US military in the Gulf and is likely to be a cause of concern for Washington.

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In recent months, the US navy has accused the Iranian navy of sending fast-attack boats to harass warships as they pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

An Iranian destroyer and two Chinese destroyers are among the vessels that will participate in the exercise, which will take place in the eastern portion of the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, according to IRNA. Some 700 Iranian navy personnel will be participating in the drill.

Two Chinese warships docked at Iran's Bandar Abbas port to take part in a joint naval exercise in the Gulf for the first time in 2014.

In May, Gen. Ahmad Mousavi, commander of a special forces unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, set out the IRGC Navy's strategy for attacking American aircraft carriers in the Gulf. 

According to Mousavi, the Americans have no answer to the IRGC's strategy for attacking U.S. aircraft carriers – involving hundreds of armed Iranian boats moving at high speed.

"Now, think of 300 fast boats armed with weapons and Katyusha [rockets] approaching [an aircraft carrier] at 130 km/hr. Who will win? The enemy carriers provide fuel, ammunition, bunks [for troops], and hangar storage for aircraft. We will attack these vessels first," Mousavi said in an interview to Iranian Fars News.

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