Tehran: Iran`s navy has begun a 10-day drill in international waters beyond the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the passageway for about a third of the world`s oil tanker traffic.
The exercise could bring Iranian ships into proximity with US Navy vessels in the area.
Navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari says Iran is holding the war games to show off its prowess and defense capabilities. State TV broadcast his comments on Saturday.
The drill will be Iran`s latest show of strength in the face of mounting international criticism over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Tehran denies those charges, insisting the program is for peaceful purposes only.