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Iranian navy says it detects U.S. aircraft carrier in drill zone

12-29-2011 19:16 BJT

TEHRAN, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Iranian navy's deputy commander Seyyed Mahmoud Mousavi said Thursday that the Iranian naval forces detected a U.S. aircraft carrier in the area of the navy's ongoing military exercises, the local satellite Press TV reported.

The commander, also the spokesman for the ongoing maneuver, said that an Iranian navy's aircraft has shot images of the U.S. carrier spotted in an area where Iran's naval units were stationed for the drills, according to the report.

Mousavi did not provide more details about the U.S. aircraft carrier.

The detection of the U.S. aircraft carrier demonstrated that Iran's naval forces were precisely monitoring all the moves by non- regional powers in the region, Mousavi was quoted as saying.

The commander attached an importance to the navy's monitoring and assessing of the non-regional forces' activities.

The Iranian navy launched on Saturday a 10-day exercise dubbed Velayat 90, which covers a length of 2,000 km stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

The Pentagon on Wednesday warned Iran against any attempt to block the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most critical oil route.

"This is not just an important issue for security and stability in the region, but an economic lifeline for countries in the Gulf, to include Iran," Pentagon press secretary George Little said, " interference with the transit or passage of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz will not be tolerated."

The remarks came after Iran's top officials threatened to seal off the important oil passageway. Iran's First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said Tuesday that Iran will close the Strait of Hormuz if its oil exports are sanctioned by the West.

The Iranian navy's commander, Habibollah Sayyari, said Wednesday that the country's naval forces can readily block the oil route if needed.

In a separate statement, the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet said Wednesday that "anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations. Any disruption will not be tolerated."



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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