From: Xinhua

TEHRAN, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — Iranian commander Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari said Sunday that Iran adopted cyber defense techniques and conducted coastal defense against hypothetical enemy forces on the third day of ongoing naval military exercises, Press TV reported.

On Friday, Iranian navy launched a six-day massive drill in its southern waters. The naval drills, dubbed Velayat 91, or Guardianship 91, are being carried out in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

Rastegari said that, during the drills, aggressive forces launched a cyber attack against the computer network of defensive forces in order to infiltrate the network and hack information or spread viruses.

The cyber defense forces “successfully” detected the threat and blocked it, said Rastegari who is also the spokesperson for the Velayat 91 drills.

Iranian navy’s “cyber defense group” is a specialized unit that monitors and protects the computer network of the naval forces and detects “all cyber infiltration and immediately takes necessary measures to counter them,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Rastegari said that Iran’s Navy tested the operational capabilities of its home-made hovercrafts on the third day of the drills, according to semi-official Fars news agency.

Different naval units also embarked on conducting coastal defense against hypothetical enemy forces, Rastegari was quoted as saying.

On Saturday, the Iranian Navy exercised mine-planting operations and tested the operational capabilities of its submarine units, Fars reported.

Rastegari said that Iran’s light and kilo-class submarines traversed the territorial and international waters, conducted reconnaissance missions and traced hypothetical enemies ” successfully,” according to the report.

He said Navy choppers and speed boats conducted mine planting operations to detect the voyage line of the hypothetical enemy’s aggressive surface and sub-surface vessels and to block their aggression against Iran’s territorial waters.

Tareq super-heavy submarine which has recently been overhauled by Iranian experts was put back into operation during the exercises, he was quoted as saying.

The naval fleets also conducted coastal defense tactics to counter an invasion of hypothetical enemy vessels, Rastegari said, adding that “The Army’s Navy proved today that it is able to confront enemy even if it advances up to the coasts of Iran’s territorial waters.”

On Saturday, the spokesman for the naval exercise rejected the media reports about Iran’s plans to block the Strait of Hormuz during the ongoing naval maneuver, Press TV reported.

After Iran’s naval maneuver started on Friday, Western reports said that the Islamic republic has warned foreign vessels to hold aloof from the region of exercise, including the Strait of Hormuz, until Jan. 3. Iran had warned in the past to close the Strait of Hormuz in case its interests in the Persian Gulf were threatened, but later Iran did not repeat the warnings.

In response to the Western media reports about the Navy’s warnings to foreign vessels, Rastegari said Saturday that “The Navy has issued no warnings. In accordance with the international norms, announcements should be sent for the information of the ships passing by during any military drill in order to prevent any potential damages,” said the report.

Rastegari added that such announcements are issued to provide security of the nearby commercial and naval vessels at certain times when the war games are underway.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Saturday that Iran’s military drills not only serve defensive objectives for the country, but also will increase security of regional waters and states, according to Fars.

The Islamic republic’s maneuvers are aimed at defending the country’s interests and soil and protecting security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, Vahidi added.

Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Friday that the drill is aimed to display Iran’s capabilities to defend its water borders and interests, establish durable security in the region, and convey a message of peace and friendship to neighboring countries.

The maneuver also sends a message to enemies that Iran will seriously defends its vital interests in all areas, in particular in international waters, Sayyari added.