Business Insider reports the Strait of Hormuz, the sea passage into the Persian Gulf between Iran and Oman, is expected to be the scene of major military exercises by Iran simulating the closure of the passageway, a CNN report citing two US officials said Thursday.

"We are aware of the increase in Iranian naval operations within the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman.” – News release by Capt. William Urban, a spokesman for Centcom

"We are monitoring it closely and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways,” the news release reported.

"We also continue to advocate for all maritime forces to conform to international maritime customs, standards, and laws," Urban added.

Approximately 30 percent of the world’s oil supply passes through the waterway, Business Insider reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been engaged in a war of words with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as well as Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani for the last few weeks concerning Iranian aggression in the region, the report said.

CNN reported U.S. officials viewed with alarm the expected military exercise for three reasons: It comes as rhetoric between the two nations heats up, it will be a larger exercise than previous ones and Tehran usually holds such exercises later in the year.

CNN reported the U.S. thinks the expected Iranian military exercise will include about 100 naval vessels, most of which are small boats, as well as air and ground forces.

Iran has repeatedly used small fast-attack craft to harass U.S. Navy warships over the past several years, the report said., Jack Durschlag

Photo: AP / Vahid Salemi, FILE

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