Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) today claimed that his nation has the complete control over the Strait of Hormuz, and the remainder of the Persian Gulf region.The United States is planning a major minesweeping exercise in the region, starting on 16th August. A total of 20 nations are expected to send their contingents for the exercise. Sayyari claimed that the planned American naval exercise will have minimal effect on Iran.
Sayyari once again warned the neighbours of Iran in the Gulf region, that joining hands with “forces of imperialism and global arrogance” will cause their own downfall. He also added that Iran is the main force which is ensuring security along the Strait of Hormuz. Meanwhile Mahmoud Fahimi, the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval forces claimed that the US naval vessels will not be able to counter the advanced mine-laying capabilities of the Iranian naval forces.
The Los Angeles Times, popular English language daily from the US reported that the SeaFox Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) are likely to take part in the planned drills. The newspaper also reported that most of the action will be taking place in and around the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important part of the Persian Gulf through which a large share of the world’s crude oil supplies pass through. The exercise will go on for 12 days, ending on August 27th.
Last month, the Iranian parliament had passed a resolution demanding the closure of the Strait, as a response to the new sanctions and oil embargoes announced by the US and the EU. The sanctions were placed after Iran refused to cooperate with officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for the inspection of its nuclear facilities. Countries like the US and Israel claims that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, an accusation which the Iranian authorities vehemently deny.