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Iran: First Day of War Games a Success

Iran has called the first day of its new war games in the Persian Gulf region a success.

A spokesman for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards told state-run IRNA news agency that more than 300 speedboats carrying rockets and missiles took part in Thursday's exercises, demonstrating their ability to destroy enemy targets on land.

Iran's naval forces also displayed a new remote-controlled boat. Military officials said the vessel travels so fast it is able to avoid detection by radar.

The war games are taking place in the Strait of Hormuz, which is crucial to the transport of world oil supplies.

A U.S. Defense Department spokesman said U.S. officials are monitoring the naval exercises. But Bryan Whitman said they appear to be routine.

A U.S.-based military analyst told VOA that the military exercises are part of a routine show of force by Iran.

John Pike of said Iran is trying to show the world it is a strong, powerful military. Pike also said Iran is not the only country that has been trying to develop remote-controlled military boats.

The IRNA news agency said Iran's naval forces are expected to test several types of home-built missiles during the second day of war games Friday.

Nearly 40 percent of the world's oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran says it will close the strait if attacked.

U.S. defense officials say military action against Iran remains an option even as Washington looks to diplomacy and sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions.