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Iran 'constantly monitoring' Gulf exercise

Sept. 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

TEHRAN, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Iranian naval forces are closely monitoring a U.S.-led mine clearing exercise in the Persian Gulf, the commander of the Iranian navy says.

The exercise, which began Sept. 16, is under "constant watch any moment," says Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported Tuesday.

Fadavi said that while the United States has claimed warships from 20 countries are participating, only Britain, France, Japan and the United Arab Emirates have actually sent vessels.

The rest, he said, "are only attending the meetings and conferences related to the war games. "

Iran has counted 64 vessels in the region, the admiral said, with Washington claiming 20 of the ships are participating in the drill.

He said six British ships, one French, two Japanese and two Emirati ships are also involved in the exercise.

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