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Iran, China Hold Naval Drills In Persian Gulf

Iran and China have held naval drills near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

The military drills on June 18 came amid heightened tensions between the Iranian and U.S. military in the Persian Gulf.

The official IRNA news agency said the exercises included an Iranian warship as well as two Chinese warships, a logistics ship, and a Chinese helicopter that arrived in Iran's port of Bandar Abbas last week.

IRNA reported that some 700 Iranian navy personnel participated in the drills, the first joint naval exercises between the two countries since 2014.

IRNA said the scheduled drills came before the departure of the Chinese fleet for Oman’s capital, Muscat.

The U.S. Navy held a joint drill with Qatar in the Persian Gulf on June 17.

U.S. and Iranian warships have had a number of tense encounters in the Persian Gulf in recent years.

Nearly one-third of all oil traded by sea passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters