03:55 GMT +330 March 2017
    Members of Royal Saudi Navy takes part in ÒGulf Shield 1Ó exercise, east of Saudi Arabia, in this handout photo received October 4, 2016.

    Tehran Issues Stern Warning as Saudis Launch Persian Gulf War Games

    © REUTERS/ Saudi Press Agency/Handout
    Middle East
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    As Riyadh conducts military drills in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have called the exercises an unnecessary provocation that risks escalating tensions in the region.

    On Tuesday, the Kingdom began live-fire drills known as Gulf Shield 1 Exercise. The exercise involves warships, aircraft, speed boats, and elite naval units, and will take place in the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz.

    This July 28, 2008 file photo shows USS Freedom, the first ship in the Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class.
    © AP Photo/ Lockheed-Martin via U.S. Navy, File

    "The exercises include shooting of live ammunition as part of the efforts to improve combat readiness and protect the Kingdom’s waters and marine interests against any possible aggression," said Navy Brig. Gen. Majed Al-Qahtani, according to the Saudi Gazette.

    The Iranian government, however, isn’t thrilled with the drills taking place so close to its own waters, and has warned against any provocations.

    "The naval forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) believe this military exercise is a clear instance of creating tensions and undermining the stable security of the Persian Gulf," the IRGC said in a statement published in an Iranian newspaper.

    "None of the naval vessels participating in this drill are permitted to trespass into Iranian waters and under no circumstances should they approach Iranian territorial waters," the statement added.

    "Any such trespassing will not be considered a harmless aberration."

    Sitting on opposite sides of the Gulf, Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran cut off bilateral communication earlier this year.

    "[The IRGC] will take proportionate and immediate action against any kind of movement, attempt or action to disrupt the peace and security of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman," the statement said.

    Iran has also had a number of encounters with US Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf in recent months. While the Pentagon has described Tehran’s actions as "unsafe," Command of the IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari has urged the US to end provocative operations in the waterway.

    "We tell the Americans that they had better stop wasting the American people’s assets and wealth by malicious and harmful presence in the Persian Gulf," Jafari said last month, according to Tasnim news agency.


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    • Adrienne Adonis
      The Saudis are puppets for the US. The US wants the Saudis to provoke Iran into a conflict and hence brings Russia into the picture !
    • avatar
      Saudi "elite naval units"

    • avatar
      beydety.....they have passed the swimming test all Saudi navy personnel must be able to swim 50 metres to a life raft.
    • avatar
      The one and true holy book sent by the one and true word of God predicts God raising up Irans spirit against Saudi arabia and after striking it will leave it barren and in darness , read the word of God in revelation it even gives thd anscient names for Iran and Saudi arabia
    • avatar
      The Saudis are a terror state because there get the orders from terror state Usa !!!
      But Iran is well pre paired for them !!!
      Good luck Iran !!!
    • Drain the swamp
      al-ghamdy tribe which is the majority in saud/wahab army, is now not being bribed with enough money as oil prices have fallen, expect them to slit saud/abdulwahab throats soon instead. Unless the grand wahabi mufti comes up with another fundie statement "Churches banned in the Hejaz" to fool them again, bwahahahahaha !
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