TEHRAN – Iran’s navy warned a US warship to leave an area where Iran has been conducting a naval drill near the narrow Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Wednesday. The US Navy denied that its operations in the region were affected.
The Iranian navy chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, was quoted as saying that the US warship received two warnings before leaving the region.
“They were warned once by maritime patrol aircraft and once again by the Alborz destroyer,” he said. “The US warship left the region
immediately after receiving the warning,” he added, saying he believed that the Americans had approached the area to “learn our tactics.”
Iran said the naval drill got underway Wednesday over an area of 3 million square kilometers, including part of the Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world oil supply passes, as well as the Gulf of Oman and neighboring parts of the Indian Ocean. It is the first Iranian naval exercise since 10 US sailors were briefly captured by Iran earlier this month after drifting into Iranian territorial waters.