FAST FIVE: Iran Navy Begins "Massive Drill" Stretching Across World's Key Oil Chokepoints

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Writing in Foreign Policy, Cook warns:  Taken together-the Warsaw conference, Pence's bullying of the Europeans, Bolton's threatening video, and the broader background noise in Washington-the events of the past week were familiar in a foreboding way. The chatter about Iran has not become the war fever that gripped Washington in 2002 over Iraq, but the echoes of that year are not hard to miss in the Trump administration's effort to shape the domestic and international debate about Iran.

Iran's drills in the coming days will further involve battleship exercises and amphibious and anti-amphibious warfare maneuvers, according to Iranian military statements.  #BREAKING: #Iran Navy is now testing its new weapons including new Fateh-Class submarine during exercise “Velayat-97” in Oman Sea close to #Pakistan territorial waters.

First stage of the exercise is a counter-amphibious assault operation for protecting the shores of #Chabahar.

He said the games, formally called “Velayat 97,” will begin 2km from the Strait of Hormuz and extend 10 degrees north of the Indian Ocean, in an extended zone some analysts worry may indicate broader intentions regarding Oman and Yemen.  Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzad describing the extent of the “Velayat 97” games.

As the Jerusalem Post summarizes of this concern, “In Yemen Iran has supported the Houthi rebels who have used Iranian technology to target Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles.” And recently, “In addition Oman enjoys decent relations with Iran but Oman also hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year and has sought to play a role in the Israel-Palestinian peace efforts.” In the past, Iranian war games have resulted in close encounters with US warships traversing parts of the Persian Gulf.

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