Iran's Revolutionary Guard is beginning monthlong naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf oil-tanker route that Tehran has threatened to close in retaliation for sanctions recently imposed by the European Union and the United States, according to The Associated Press, which cited an Iranian state media report on Saturday.
The report of the exercises comes a day after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivered a defiant televised speech marking the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which was the first time the country's top authority had spoken publicly about the impact of the new sanctions, according to Reuters.
In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time, Reuters reported Khamenei told worshippers in his televised speech.
Sanctions will not have any impact on our determination to continue our nuclear course, Khamenai said.
Such sanctions will benefit us. They will make us more self-reliant ... We would not achieve military progress if sanctions were not imposed on Iran's military sector.