Iranian state TV has reported that Tehran has inaugurated a new naval base to reinforce its authority over three disputed Persian Gulf islands.
The islands, also claimed by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), sit near oil shipping routes at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which about one-fifth of the world's oil supply passes.
The new naval base, near the Iranian mainland's southern port of Bandar-e Lengeh, is Tehran's fifth in the gulf.
Iran took control of the Persian Gulf islands -- Greater and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa -- in 1971, after British forces left the region.
Last month at the UN General Assembly, the U.A.E. said Iran's "occupation" of the islands violated international law.
In April, a visit by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to the islands further inflamed tensions.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP