Friday, December 23, 2011
Iran navy to hold 10-day war games
Iran's navy will launch a 10-day war game in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, state television quoted Navy Commander Habibulah Sayari as saying on Thursday.
The war game, named Velayat-90, will be carried out over an area extending from east of the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Eden, the report said.
"The maneuvers will be carried out with the intention of displaying the determination, defensive and deterrent power of the Iranian armed forces as well as relaying a message of peace and friendship in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman and the free waters of the Indian Ocean," Sayari said.
Iran often announces its military capabilities and tests weaponry at its periodic war gamein an apparent attempt to show its readiness for any strikes by Israel or the United States.
The war games announcement comes amid increased US rhetoric against Iran's pursuit of a nuclear program.
In an interview with CBS News on Monday, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that Iran will be able to assemble a nuclear bomb within a year, if not sooner.
When asked by CBS News anchor Scott Pelley if Iran could get a nuclear weapon by 2012, Panetta answered: “It would probably be about a year before they can do it. Perhaps a little less.”
He added that the Iranians may have a hidden facility somewhere already enriching fuel, meaning they may be able to develop a nuclear weapon even earlier.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey reiterated Washington's resolve to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. "My biggest worry is they will miscalculate our resolve," Dempsey said, referring to Iran. "Any miscalculation could mean that we are drawn into conflict, and that would be a tragedy for the region and the world."