21:14 GMT04 August 2021
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    An Iranian admiral said the Italian partners were impressed by the Asian country's capabilities.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iran and Italy have launched joint naval drills in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz near Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas, Commander of Iran's First Naval Zone Adm. Amir Hossein Azad said on Tuesday.

    "The drill is held to improve combat capabilities and information transfer of both Iranian and Italian Navies; Italy is a NATO member state and had been taken by surprise upon viewing of Iran’s military might and the capability to hold drills in such scopes," Azad was quoted as saying by the Mehr News Agency.

    The Italian anti-submarine frigate dubbed Euro, which arrived in Bandar Abbas on September 24, participated in the joint military exercises along with Iranian Navy's Alvand and Alborz destroyers, a Navy air fleet helicopter and an Italian chopper, Azad added.

    The exercises included intelligence collection, surveillance, and flight drills, according to the Iranian commander.

    The joint naval drills come after a high-level military meeting between top Iranian Navy commanders and the visiting warship's captain as well as Italy's ambassador to Tehran and the European country's military attache on Saturday.


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