In this Tuesday, April 7, 2015 photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency, Iranian warship Alborz, foreground, prepares before leaving Iran's waters, at the Strait of Hormuz. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Mahdi Marizad)
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U.S. officials told Reuters Thursday that the United States believed Iran had started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington.The U.S. military's Central Command Wednesday confirmed it has seen increased Iranian naval activity.U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the drills appeared designed to send a message to Washington, which is intensifying its economic and diplomatic pressure on Tehran but so far stopping short of using the U.S. military to more aggressively counter Iran and its proxies.Iran did not appear interested in drawing attention to the drills.
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