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Iran to hold 10 day naval drill

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Iran plans to conduct a 10 day naval exercise in a vast area east of the Straits of Hormuz, a top naval commander said.

Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari told a Thursday news conference the maneuvers, called "Velayat 90," would start Saturday and cover approximately 1,250 miles, east of the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden.

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"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," Sayyari said.

It is the first time the Islamic Republic is carrying out maneuvers in such a vast area, Press TV said.

During the drill the navy will test new missiles systems and torpedoes, and two Iranian destroyers, missile-launching vessels, logistic vessels, drones and coastal missiles will also be tested, the television channel quoted Sayyari as saying.

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