U.S. allies plan big Gulf naval exercise in May

 US Navy handout photo of the aircraft carriers Lincoln and Stennis

(Photo Credit- Reuters)

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States and its allies will stage a naval exercise in the Gulf in May to practise minesweeping and escorting ships, the U.S. Navy said on Monday, a maneuver likely to be seen in the region as guarding against a potential threat from Iran.

Representatives from more than 30 nations will gather in Bahrain for the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 13 from May 6-30, eight months after they staged a previous edition of the exercises at a time when Israel and Iran were trading threats of war.

 In early 2012 Iran repeatedly threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow exit route through which most of the Gulf’s oil and gas is exported, amid heightened tension with the West over Tehran’s disputed nuclear development program.
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