Iran plans new military maneuvers in February

State-run Press TV quotes army commander saying Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps will run a military exercise "different" than recent naval drill; tensions persist over strategic oil shipping lane.

US Navy crew member 311 (R) (photo credit: Reuters)
US Navy crew member 311 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters)
TEHRAN - Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will hold new naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in February, state-run Press TV quoted a military commander as saying on Friday.
The Guards' Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said the drill would be "different compared to previous exercises held by the IRGC," Press TV reported but gave no further details. The last drill in the vital oil shipping lane ended on Monday.
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On Wednesday, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi continued Tehran's heated rhetoric against the West, 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 report.
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 test fired two long-range missiles recently-concluded  ten-day naval drill. It said 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.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat
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.