Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched a drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea.
The guard’s forces will use combat helicopters and drones around Qeshm Island at the mouth of the straight, the State TV reported Saturday.
The annual war game dubbed “The Great Prophet” came a day after the USS John C. Stennis, a U.S. aircraft carrier, sailed into the Persian Gulf, becoming the first in the region since President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.
The Guard’s vessels trailed the Stennis and launched a drone to film the American ship.
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Iranian sailors on the accompanying ships could be seen photographing and videotaping the U.S. ships.
The December 21 arrival of the USS John C. Stennis came amid repeated threats by Iranian officials to close off the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the gulf and the only outlet through which all ship traffic passes.
“We are trying to be more operationally unpredictable,” said Lt. Chloe Morgan, a spokeswoman for U.S.’ Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. “Now we’re switching it up because our adversaries are watching closely. We want to be operationally unpredictable to our enemies, but strategically predictable to our partners.”