Iran announces another navy drill in key Strait of Hormuz

Iran frequently organizes drills in the strait. Above, the Revolution Guard troops participate in a drill in 2015. (AFP/File)
Updated 21 February 2019
0

Iran announces another navy drill in key Strait of Hormuz

  • Almost one third of oil trade by sea passes through Hurmuz
  • Missiles will be launched during the annual drill “Velayat-97”

TEHRAN: Iran’s navy says it will hold an annual drill in the strategic Strait of Hormuz as pressure mounts on the country months after the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran, targeting its vital oil sector.
The strait is located at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf and is crucial to global energy supplies, with about a third of all oil traded at sea passing through it.
Iranian Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told state TV on Thursday the 3-day maneuvers will start on Friday and extend as far as the Sea of Oman and the fringes of the Indian Ocean.
He said submarines, warships, helicopters and surveillance planes will participate in the drill, dubbed as “Velayat-97.” The exercise will include missile launches from the vessels.
Iran regularly holds maneuvers in the strait.


Saudi Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 7 min 27 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia joined Arab states on Tuesday in condemning a decision by the United States to recognize the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Breaking decades of international consensus, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Saudi Arabia firmly rejected the decision and affirmed its position that Golan Heights was occupied Syrian Arab land in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

 

Bahrain also released an official statement on Tuesday expressing their regret over the announcement made by US over Golan Heights.

The declaration, made by the US, is a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the report said.

The US decision was a violation of Security Council resolutions 242 of 1967 and 497 of 1981, and would have devastating implications on the peace process in the Middle East, as well as security and stability in the region, Saudi Arabia’s official statement said.

Saudi Arabia called on all parties to respect the decisions of international legitimacy and the charter of the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that the decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory,

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.