Iran's Revolutionary Guards hold exercises in Strait of Hormuz

DUBAI Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:56pm IST

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iranian naval ships take part in a naval parade on the last day of the Velayat-90 war game in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jamejamonline/Ebrahim Norouzi/Files

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iranian naval ships take part in a naval parade on the last day of the Velayat-90 war game in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran January 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jamejamonline/Ebrahim Norouzi/Files

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DUBAI (Reuters) - The naval force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has held exercises to test new equipment and battle tactics in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Iranian media reported on Sunday.

The drills tested the IRGC naval force's combat-readiness, speed in responding to natural disasters and familiarity with new weapons, the Fars news agency reported.

They were the fifth such tactical exercises held by the force and took place near Bandar Abbas, a Gulf port on Iran's southern coast, Fars said. It did not say when they took place.

Iran's regular navy, separate from the IRGC's naval branch, held drills in the Gulf in late December and early January meant to showcase the country's military capabilities in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil exports passes.

Iranian officials have often said Iran could block the strait if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear programme, and a heavy Western naval presence in the Gulf is meant to deter any such move. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; editing by Andrew Roche)

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