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Iran Navy plane 'was filming US carrier'

Source: Press TV

An Iranian Navy Fokker F27

Iran's navy commander has confirmed the flight of an Iranian aircraft near a US warship in the waters of the Persian Gulf.

On Tuesday, CNN quoted a senior US military officer as saying that an F27 aircraft of the Iranian Navy flew as low as 300 feet near the USS Eisenhower on April 21.

"US warships tread the free waters of the Gulf of Oman and it is Iranian navy's duty to conduct routine surveillance flights in the region," Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the Iranian Navy commander, said in a Tuesday news conference.

"The F27 plane of the navy flew above this aircraft carrier and took a thorough film," he added.

According to US military officials, the Eisenhower was on duty in the Gulf of Oman in the northern Arabian Sea when the Iranian maritime patrol aircraft flew within 1,000 yards (915 meters) of the vessel.

The Iranian aircraft was an unarmed Fokker F27 and remained in the vicinity of the Eisenhower for about 20 minutes before leaving the area, US army officials said.

Iranian Navy to hold major drill in Persian Gulf

The Iranian Navy plans to stage a massive military exercise in the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, according to a senior naval commander.

Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the drill code-named Velayat 89 will kick off on Wednesday.

He said that the major exercise will be carried out in six phases and last eight days.

The commander said that the drill would cover an area of 250 thousand square kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz to the northern Indian Ocean.

The drill aims to display Iran's prowess in defending the country's territory and carries the message of "peace and friendship" for regional countries, Sayyari said.

The major naval drill comes less than two weeks after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps held a massive military drill in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz with the main aim of preserving the security of the region.

The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway between Iran and Oman, connects the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman. Nearly 40 percent of the world's crude oil passes through this waterway.

... Payvand News - 05/04/10 ... --

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