Iran begins navy drill off Strait of Hormuz

File photo of Iranian warship Alborz, foreground, as it leaves Iran's waters, at the Strait of Hormuz. (AP)

Iran’s navy has begun an annual drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, its first major exercise since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

Iranian state television quoted navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari on Sunday as saying the maneuver will cover an area of 2 million square kilometers in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean near the strait.

Nearly a third of all oil traded by sea passes through the strait and it has been the scene of previous confrontations between the US and Iran.

But the drill does not involve Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force the US Navy often criticizes for harassing its vessels.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50