Iranian naval exercise starts in Strait of Hormuz, but without usual fanfare in Iranian media

Iranian naval exercise starts in Strait of Hormuz, but without usual fanfare in Iranian media
Iranian small boat swarm with missile launch. (File) YouTube, IRINN

[Ed. – This development is different, because of the timing — in the worst heat of summer and weeks before the annual exercise usually kicks off — and the lack of rhetoric in the Iranian media.  There are usually announcements and quotable quotes from the Iranian authorities.  But this time, what we know about is all coming from the U.S. CENTCOM public affairs folks.  Our advance knowledge over the last few days would have come from Iranian notices to mariners about operating areas for the exercise.  But the lack of a regime rhetorical effort is very interesting.  Bears watching.]

The United States believes Iran has started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100 vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats. A second official expected the drill could be wrapped up this week. …

The U.S. military’s Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen an increase in Iranian naval activity, including in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block. …

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A third official said the Iranian naval operations did not appear to be affecting commercial maritime activity.

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