Tensions between the US and Iran increased Tuesday, as Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei order the launch of a Tareq-901 submarine and a Sahand navy destroyer into the Persian Gulf Iran as US and allied navies held drills there to practice keeping shipping lanes open.

The report was made by the official IRNA news agency.

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The United States, Britain, France and a number of Middle Eastern states are conducting a naval exercise in the Gulf this week in response to repeated Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a prime route for oil transport from the Persian Gulf, if Israel attacks Iranian nuclear sites.

Khamenei visited the northern coastal city of Nowshahr on Tuesday to attend naval exercises involving planting mines, destroying enemy vessels, and freeing hijacked ships.

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