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Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 21:21

Iran warns US warship to leave naval drill area

By Agencies

Iran warns US warship to leave naval drill area
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard speed boats attack a naval vessel during a military drill in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran on Feb 25, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / FARS NEWS / HAMED JAFARNEJAD)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's semi-official FARS news agency says that the country's navy has warned a US warship to leave an area in the Sea of Oman where Iran has been conducting a naval drill.

The agency on Wednesday quoted Iranian navy chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, as saying that the US warship received two warnings before leaving the area.

He says that he believes the Americans had approached the area to "learn our tactics."

"It was predictable that the US warship would approach the area to collect information on (our) military operations. So we warned them twice in the morning ... to keep their distance from the exercise area and keep clear of our missile range for their own safety," Sayyari was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

He said Iran had acted in line with the international convention that a country should clear out all other military and trade ships from an area before starting any exercise.

"The manoeuvre aims to show Iranian forces' strength both in ensuring security on the seas and in defending the country's sea borders in Hormuz Strait, Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean," Sayyari was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

Iran on Wednesday began a naval drill near the Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world oil supply passes. The warning was the first such incident since 10 US sailors were briefly captured by Iran on Jan. 13 after drifting into Iranian territorial waters.

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