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In the second military show in less than a month, Iran will hold a new set of maneuvers in the strategic waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, Iranian media reported on Tuesday.
Iran regularly holds such military exercises but they are likely to heighten tensions, coming at a time of a deepening standoff between the West and Teheran over the country's controversial nuclear program.
"The massive maneuvers dubbed Velayat-89 will show (Iran's) defensive and deterrent naval power,"
US President Barack Obama extended US sanctions on Syria by a year, a communiqué to Congress detailed on Tuesday. In the message, Obama expressed concern that Syria continues to support terrorist regimes and tries to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Syria's actions and policies "pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," he said.
U.S. adversaries are developing sophisticated and longer-range combat systems that will threaten the U.S. Navy's dominance in the regions vital to U.S. security interests, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Monday.
Speaking to Navy officers and civilians at a U.S. Navy association's annual expo, Gates said countries like Iran and China are developing systems that could destroy new classes of Navy ships and aircraft and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in losses.
"Potential adversaries are investing in weapons designed to neutralize U.S. advantages, to deny our military freedom of action while potentially threatening America's primary means of projecting power," Gates said.
He said these countries are developing these weapons to, "neutralize U.S. advantages," because they cannot afford to build the number of ships required to challenge this country.
Gates said Hezbollah used anti-ship missiles against Israel's navy during the 2006 Lebanon war, and Iran is combining ballistic and cruise missiles,anti-ship missiles, mines, and swarming speedboats to challenge the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf.
Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev says Baku will never allow the country to be used as a launch pad for a military strike on neighboring Iran.
“No threat will be made against Iran from Azerbaijan's territory and we will not help the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran under any circumstances,” the Fars new agency quoted Abiyev as saying in a meeting with Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar in Baku on Wednesday.
Mohammad-Najjar said that Iran regards Azerbaijan's security as its own security and is ready to share its defense expertise with Azerbaijan. He went on to say that the Zionists are trying to foment discord between Muslim nations. And thus, the leaders and peoples of Iran and Azerbaijan should work together to establish peace in the region, he added.
Iran's interior minister arrived in Baku on Monday to hold talks with high-ranking Azerbaijani officials in order to enhance cooperation between the two countries.