The commander of U.S. Central Command, Joseph Votel, confirmed that "so far this calendar year, we have not seen any incidents [with Iran] that we would characterise as unsafe or unprofessional... I'm glad that that's the case; I would encourage them to continue to do that". He added that in the Strait of Hormuz, "Iran has a layer of capabilities... but I would just suggest we have capabilities as well". On recent Iranian naval drills, Votel asserted that "the scope and scale of the exercise we saw was similar to what we've seen with other exercises that they've done in this region... I think it's pretty clear to us that they were trying to use that exercise to send a message to us that as we approach this period of the sanctions here, that they have some capabilities".
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