41 Nations Launch U.S.-Led Exercises in the Persian Gulf

Elad Benari — Arutz Sheva May 12, 2013

In what may be a warning to Iran, the U.S. Navy said on Monday that envoys from 41 nations had gathered in Bahrain to begin anti-mine drills in the Persian Gulf.

The U.S.-led exercises, which run through May 30, mark the second major show of maritime cooperation in the Gulf in less than a year.

According to a statement published by the Navy, the drills will begin with onshore training and then move to the Gulf for maneuvers including mine-sweeping and search-and-seizure operations.

The last such exercise was held nine months ago, when Israel and Iran were just at the brink of hostilities.

The U.S. Navy stressed that the drills are not specifically tailored to counter Iranian threats, though Iran has threatened more than once to close the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway leading to the Persian Gulf and that is used by 40 percent of vessels that carry the world’s oil to various locations around the globe.

The United States has warned Iran that any attempt to close the strait would be viewed as a “red line” — grounds for U.S. military action.

Iran also has sought to expand its naval capabilities, including plans to launch new submarines. In December the Islamic Republic held naval maneuvers in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz

Source

Iran to equip IRGC Navy with advanced cruise missiles: Official

Press TV — May 12, 2013

Iran’s Defense Ministry plans to equip the naval fleet of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) with cruise missiles having a range of more than 300 kilometers.

The cruise missiles have different ranges and have super advanced capabilities, Director of Iran’s Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Organization Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi said in a Sunday interview.

“The precision and range of the new missiles have been enhanced compared with those of the 300 km-range missiles that the IRGC Navy already has,” Farahi pointed out.

On April 27, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced Iran’s plans to unveil indigenous ballistic and cruise missiles as well as other new military achievements within the next five months.

In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.

Tehran has repeatedly assured other nations that its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.

ASH/HJL/HMV

Source

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