Iran issues warning to foreign spy aircraft during six-day naval drills

Wed, Jan 2, 2013, 00:00

Iran has warned off foreign surveillance aircraft that have tried to approach its forces during naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz, an Iranian military spokesman has said.

The drills, which began on Friday, are aimed at showcasing Iran’s military capability in the shipping route through which 40 per cent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass.

Iran has threatened to block the strait if it comes under military attack over its disputed nuclear programme.

The US has said it would not tolerate any obstruction of commercial traffic.

“So far, about 30 warnings have been given to reconnaissance and surveillance planes of extra-regional forces that wanted to approach the area where the drills are taking place,” Cdr Amir Rastegari told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

He said the aircraft had been warned to keep out of Iranian air space and away from the exercises.

Six days of drills are taking place in an area of one million sq km in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.