Dubai: Iran launched naval drills on Sunday, a naval commander said, as tensions with the United States escalated after U.S President Donald Trump put Tehran "on notice".
Since taking office last month, Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on January 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.
Iran's annual exercises will be held to train in the fight against terrorism and piracy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, according to state media.
Millions of barrels of oil are transported daily to Europe, the United States and Asia through waterways that run along the coasts of Yemen and Iran.
Navy ships, submarines and helicopters will take part in the drills across an area of about 2 million square kilometres (772,000 square miles) and marines will showcase their skills along Iran's southeastern coast, the state news agency IRNA said.
The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is based in the region and protects shipping lanes.
Last month, a U.S. Navy destroyer fired warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels after they closed in at high speed. The vessels belonged to Iran's Revolutionary Guards which are not participating in the current war games.
Trump said earlier this month that "Iran has been put formally put on notice" for firing a ballistic missile,