Moscow, Dec 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Iranian Navy Friday launched a six-day naval exercise that would rehearse border protection and piracy control operations, the Irna news agency reported.
The drill, dubbed Velayat 91, will be carried out in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said.
The aim of the drill was to "convey a message of peace and friendship to neighbouring states", Sayyari said.
He said Velayat 91 also sends a message to Iran's enemies that the country takes defending its vital interests very seriously.
During the drill, Iran's 23rd Fleet, comprising the Bushehr warship and the Jamaran destroyer, will escort Iran's merchant vessels and oil tankers as part of the navy's anti-piracy mission.