A senior Iranian lawmaker says the aim of the upcoming naval drills by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is to prepare for the potential closure of the strategic Hormuz Strait.
Deputy Head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Esmail Kowsari said on Saturday the military maneuver has been designed to prepare the armed forces for receiving the order to shut down the strait within the shortest time possible.
He noted that holding such drills is in line with the country's annual military planning and the national defense strategy.
The IRGC naval forces announced on January 5 that it would be holding a major military maneuver in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz in February.
IRGC's Naval Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said the drills, the seventh in a series of military exercises dubbed the Great Prophet, will be different compared to previous naval maneuvers held by the IRGC.
The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway between Iran and Oman, connects the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman and serves as a vital shipping way for crude exports out the oil-rich region.
The IRGC drills come shortly after the Iranian navy launched the 10-day Velayat 90 drills on December 24 to test its defense capabilities and maintain total readiness in the face of potential threats.
The drills covered an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden and ended on January 2.
Iran maintains its military and naval drills are part of the national defense doctrine of military deterrence.
Iran has also offered to hold joint naval drills with regional countries.