Iran readies for naval drill

Drill meant to prepare Iran to "counter possible threats;" Naval Commander Ali Muhammad Salami says.

iranian navy 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
iranian navy 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iran will soon conduct a naval drill to prepare its forces for any external threats, Iran's naval commander said. The military exercise, named Caspian Border Watch, will enhance the capabilities of the Iranian navy, Naval Commander Ali Muhammad Salami said, according to Iran's Press TV. The commander added it would prepare Iranian forces for "countering possible threats." Eight war vessels will be displayed during the three-day maneuver. No date for the beginning of the drill was given. The news comes at a time of heightened tension between Iran and the West, especially the United States and Israel, over Iran's controversial nuclear program. The two sides have been exchanging verbal threats, and recent drills in the Gulf region have sparked speculation that a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is being planned. Iran has defied international demands to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and maintains its right to possess nuclear technology. There are fears Iran is covertly manufacturing a nuclear bomb. The oil-rich country insists its nuclear program is for the peaceful use of creating energy. Last month the Iranians carried out a six-day military drill during which they tested various missiles from shore-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air. Teheran insisted the drills were of a defensive nature and did not intend to threaten regional states. Reports of a big Israeli air drill over Greece in June sparked speculation that Jerusalem was readying for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. The United States is not ruling out any options against Iran, including military strikes on the country's nuclear facilities. Iran recently tested long-range naval missiles which would be capable of targeting vessels passing through the Strait of Hurmuz. The Gulf and the Strait of Hurmuz are the most important and strategic waterway for oil exports in the region and any obstruction there could cause a crisis in the global oil industry.