Iran kicked off a naval missile exercise off its southeast coast in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday amid renewed tensions with the United States. The drill is set to include firing of surface-to-surface missiles and involve submarines and drones, Iranian state media said.
Rear Adm. Ali Kavian said the exercise was held on short notice to evaluate the ability of Iran’s navy to “react in a timely and effective manner” to potential threats.
Two newly commissioned warships were set to take part in the drills, state media said: the Makran, a former oil tanker converted into a floating sea base, and the Zereh, a missile-laden frigate. Iran’s military has said the Makran can carry multiple helicopters and its fuel capacity means it can remain at sea for up to 1,000 days.
The chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces also said during a ceremony today that the navy would resume patrols in the Red Sea to protect Iranian trade vessels in the region.
The exercises come amid heightened tensions with the United States, which has sought to economically isolate Iran and roll back its government’s influence in the Middle East and beyond.