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    Iran warns off aircraft, ships during drill

    TEHRAN — Iran’s navy issued dozens of warnings to foreign planes and warships that approached its forces during a five-day sea maneuver near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a semiofficial news agency reported Tuesday.

    Mehr quoted Admiral Amir Rastgari, spokesman for the exercise, as saying that naval and air defense forces on 30 occasions warned off reconnaissance planes, drones, and warships belonging to ‘‘extraregional forces’’ that approached the drill, using a term that the Islamic Republic commonly employs to refer to the militaries of the United States and its allies.

    The five-day naval drill, dubbed Velayat-91, is Iran’s latest show of strength in the face of mounting pressures over its disputed nuclear program. The West suspects it is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.Iran has threatened to close the strait over Western sanctions but has not repeated the threats lately. The strait is the passageway for one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.


    Rastgari said the aircraft and warships heeded the warnings and stayed away.

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    Iran has used the maneuvers to highlight recently developed weapons systems.

    State TV said a sea-launched antiship missile with a range of 120 miles was among the weapons used in the drills Tuesday. The missile was delivered in late 2011 to the military and the Revolutionary Guard’s naval division.

    Associated Press