The navies from more than three dozen nations have converged in the Persian Gulf around Bahrain for a massive military minesweeping excercise.
The drills, led by the US military, are taking place in the Gulf of Oman and the Gulf of Aden, avoiding the busy shipping route in the Strait of Hormuz.
Meanwhile, on Sunday a senior Iranian military commander warned that an Israeli strike on Iran could trigger World War III.
Iran's Press TV reports:
“We see the United States and the Zionist regime [of Israel] alongside one another and can by no means imagine that the Zionist regime would initiate a war [against Iran] without the US support….In case of the eruption of such a [war] condition, the situation would spin out of control and management; this war is likely to degenerate into World War III. It means that some countries might enter the war in favor of or against Iran,” Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said on Al-Alam television on Sunday.
[...] “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the US bases in the region as part of the American soil and will definitely target them if a war breaks out,” he added.
FARS News Agency in Iran reports:
Iranian armed forces are closely monitoring the military forces of the US and its allies in the region and will maintain their preparedness to confront them.
"We are at the highest level of preparedness to accomplish our mission …" Moussavi stated.
...Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stressed Iran's intelligence supremacy over US moves in the region, and noted that Iran is well informed of the details of the US naval moves in the region.
"We are well aware of the exact number and the position of the US surface vessels, aircrafts, submarines and minesweeping warships in the region," Sayyari underscored.
The United States has been promoting the fact that more than 30 nations are participating in the exercises.
But CNN has learned that so far, two thirds of those nations do not want to have their participation made public. And only half a dozen or so will send actual ships to the exercise.
The situation suggests that in any real minesweeping scenario, or conflict with Iran, the U.S. military would bear the brunt of the fight.
Earlier in the week, Tehran deployed a submarine in the Persian Gulf.