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Iran Starts Military Exercise Near Afghan Border

Reports say Iran has begun a military exercise near its border with Afghanistan.

The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' ground forces, as saying the maneuvers near Khvat, about 60 kilometers from Afghanistan, are “aimed at boosting security along the Iranian borders."

The exercises come after Iran’s naval exercises in the Persian Gulf increased tensions with the United States amid threats and counterthreats over security in the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil-shipping route.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently approved sanctions that aim to stop countries buying Iranian oil and European Union officials are weighing a similar move, sparking Iranian officials to suggest them might seek to shut down the strait.

compiled from Reuters reports