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|Monday, October 23, 2000, updated at 10:30(GMT+8)|
Iranian Navy to Hold Exercises in Persian GulfNaval forces of the Iranian army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) will hold an eight-day joint military exercise in the Persian Gulf from October 29, IRGC Navy Commander Rear-Admiral Morteza Safari announced on Sunday.
He said the naval exercises, code-named "Vahdat 79" (Unity 79), will be held in an area of 5,000 square meters, covering the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and strategic Strait of Hormuz, the state IRNA news agency reported.
Some 130 ships and submarines, 58 airplanes, choppers and unmanned planes as well as 7,000 troops will take part in the large-scale war games.
Safari said the C-802 surface-to-surface missile will be deployed on IRGC's "Tondar" vessel for test fire. But he did not disclose any technical details about the missile.
On the objectives of the exercises, the commander said the exercise is aimed at testing domestic-made equipment and boosting the morale of participation forces.
Iran's military force is a force of deterrence, which aims to safeguard regional security, he said, adding that military observers from Oman will watch the naval exercises.
He repeated Iran's opposition to foreign military presence in the Gulf, which is considered by Tehran as the major threat to regional stability and security.
Some 62 foreign vessels are deployed in the Gulf, of which 51 belong to the U.S. with 5,000 troops.
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