Iran starts ‘large-scale’ military exercises in southern waters

This handout image provided by the Iranian Army Office on Nov 7, 2021, shows Iranian soldiers participating in a military exercise on the shore of the southern Iranian Makran sea, is the coastal region of Baluchistan. (IRANIAN ARMY OFFICE / AFP)

Iran started large-scale military exercises in its southern waters on Sunday, days after its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces said they stopped a US attempt to seize an oil cargo.

The drills involve ground, air, sea and drone units of Iran’s army in an area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz to the north of the Indian Ocean, according to the state TV.

On Wednesday, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said it wrested a Vietnam-flagged vessel that carried Iranian crude from US forces in the Gulf of Oman in an Oct 25 incident. 

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Rejecting as a “ridiculous claim” the Iranian assertion that the US was trying to take control of the tanker, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon last week that “the only seizing that was done was by Iran.”