The Gulf of Oman has been a focal point of geopolitical tensions in 2019, after two oil tankers were attacked in the narrow strait in June by an unidentified party. The US blamed Iran for the attack but Tehran denied the allegations. Then in July, Iran detained a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, for two months.
The vessels planned to leave Iran's Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman, before being deployed across areas in the north of the Indian Ocean, Second Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani said earlier, according to Iran's state-run Press TV. Tahani said the exercise will cover 17,000 square kilometers and consist of "various tactical exercises," which include target practice and rescuing ships from assaults and fires.