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Iranian lawmaker says navy drill serious warning to potentially close Strait of Hormuz

(Xinhua)

08:46, December 27, 2011

TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- A senior Iranian lawmaker said on Monday that the ongoing naval wargames in Iran's southern waters should be seen as a serious warning to the West about potential closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"These wargames are a warning to the Western countries about the closure of the Strait of Hormuz," member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Zohreh Elahian told Fars.

"If any threat is posed to Iran, the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz," the lawmaker was quoted as saying.

"The naval drills in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman display the power and domination of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy over the regional waters," she added.

"The wargames are related to the power of deterrence, dominance and superiority over the region and are a symbol of the defensive and deterrence power of the Islamic republic's ruling system and Armed Forces," said the lawmaker.

The Iranian Navy launched a 10-day massive naval exercises in the international waters on Saturday.

The naval drills, dubbed Velayat 90, cover an area of 2,000 km stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

Different classes of submarines, including Tareq and Ghadir, the newest ground-to-sea missile systems and torpedoes will be employed in the maneuvers.

It is the first time the Iranian Navy carries out naval drills in such a vast area, Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said at a press conference on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Parviz Sorouri, a member of the Iranian Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said that Iran plans to practice its ability to close the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important passages for exports of crude oil and oil products from littoral states of the Persian Gulf.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said later that closing the Strait of Hormuz is not on Iran's agenda since Iran believes in upholding the stability and peace of the region.

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