As Iran’s president-elect speaks to clerics about winding down Internet filtering, the nation’s navy has begun a five-day military drill in the Caspian Sea, where just last year Iran discovered an oil field for the first time in 104 years.
The deposit was found at a depth of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) during drilling on a natural-gas field and may contain 10 billion barrels of crude, according to the National Iranian Oil Co., according to Fars. Iran is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)..
As President Hassan Rouhani addressed fellow clergy Monday about the need for a strong government, and a strong nation, the navy began its exercise in Iran's territorial waters. Also in the Caspian Sea, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan claim territory as well.
Admiral Khordad Hakimi, chief of the northern naval fleet, was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying the maneuver is aimed at improving the readiness of Iranian naval forces. “Amniat e Paydar” – “Sustainable Security” in Farsi, the Persian language – is scheduled to end Thursday.
The Iranian military regularly holds drills on land and sea, and this year held a number in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the waterway through which nearly 40 percent of the world’s oil supply is shipped. Such drills often prompt extra attention from other forces in the area, particularly those of the United States, whose Fifth Fleet is stationed in the region.