DUBAI - Iran plans to hold military drills in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil and gas shipping route, by next March, Iranian media quoted a commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as saying on Monday.
IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi told reporters on Monday that the drill would be held by the end of the current Iranian year, which ends on March 20, but gave no details on timing or what the exercise would involve."By the end of the (Iranian) year we will hold an exercise in the Strait of Hormuz and will announce the exact time soon," Fadavi said, according to Iranian student news agency ISNA.
Iranian officials have often said that Iran could block the strait - through which 40 percent of the world's sea-borne oil exports pass - if it comes under military attack over its disputed nuclear program.
A heavy Western naval presence in the Gulf is a big impediment to any attempt to block the waterway but both sides have staged maneuvers in the area this year to demonstrate their military capabilities.