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Iran To Hold More Military Drills

An Iranian Army soldier stands guard on a military speed boat during navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in December.
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says that Iran plans to hold more military exercises after a 10-day drill in the Persian Gulf raised tensions with the United States.

Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Vahidi as saying that an " Iranian Revolutionary Guards maneuver would soon be held."

Vahidi also said that Iran "will do anything to preserve the security of the Strait of Hormuz," a vital international oil-shipping route, and that the presence of "forces from beyond the Gulf is not needed, and is harmful."

Vahidi's comments were made on January 3 after Iran's armed forces chief Ayaollah Salehi said Tehran would take action if the United States redeployed an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf.

The White House said the warning showed Iran was "in a position of weakness" and it maintained that it will not alter its plans for deploying of warships in the area.

compiled from agency reports