Iran’s military launched an annual drill in the Gulf near the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway, Iranian state TV reported on Thursday, at a time of high tension between Tehran and Washington. The three-day exercise in the eastern side of the strait in the Gulf of Oman is aimed at improving Tehran’s military might to confront “foreign threats and any possible invasion”, the commander of the manoeuvre, Admiral Habibollah Sardari, told TV. Naval, air and ground forces, including submarines and drones, were participating in the drill, called Zolfaghar-99, the report said.There have been periodic confrontations between Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and the US military in the Gulf in recent years. Washington has accused the Guards’ navy of sending fast-attack boats to harass US warships in the strait. The spokesman for the drill, Admiral Shahram Irani, told state TV that the United States had withdrawn drones from the area of the exercise after a warning from Iran.