Iran warns foreign planes near Strait of Hormuz

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s navy issued dozens of warnings to foreign planes and warships that approached its forces during a five-day sea maneuver near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a semi-official news agency reported today.

Mehr quoted Adm. Amir Rastgari, spokesman for the exercise, as saying that naval and air defense forces on 30 occasions warned off reconnaissance planes, drones and warships belonging to “extraregional forces” that approached the drill.

The five-day naval drill, dubbed Velayat-91, is Iran’s latest show of strength in the face of mounting pressures over its disputed nuclear program. Iran has used the maneuvers to highlight recently developed weapons systems, including several anti-ship missiles.

Iran has threatened to close the strait over Western sanctions but has not repeated the threats lately.

Iran’s growing arsenal includes short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting targets in the region such as Israel and U.S. military bases in the Gulf.

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