TEHRAN — Iran's naval forces held a joint drill with Oman near the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, as the American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was already in the Persian Gulf to back up Israel in its ongoing war against Hamas.
The stated purpose of the drill, according to Iran's state media, was "to enhance combat preparedness … in the face of maritime security scenarios." It was part of earlier agreements reached at meetings of the Omani-Iranian Military Friendship Committee.
Iran's regular army, known as Artesh, and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) both took part in the exercise, where they showed off copters, drones, reconnaissance aircraft and speedboats. The Iranian side also brought in its Sahand and Dena destroyers, which Tehran says have been built from scratch with Iranian technology and expertise. "The two destroyers exhibited a stunning image of national self-sufficiency in the field of naval defense," wrote the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency.
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