An Iranian commander said the Islamic Republic would launch a pre-emptive strike against Israel should it believe the Jewish state is about to attack its nuclear facilities.
The threat comes as the U.S. military and 30 other countries are in the middle of the biggest naval war games ever to be held near the coast of Iran.
The unprecedented show of power involves 20 ships and follows continuing threats by Iran to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for shipping oil from the Middle East.
If Iran attempted to block the Strait of Hormuz, it could send oil prices skyrocketing around the world.
"Loss of free access to this waterway could have catastrophic economic consequences," Capt. Scott Nietzel, commanding officer of the USS Warrior, said.
One main objective of the naval exercises is to locate and destroy anti-ship mines. The United States uses sophisticated technology to do that, including mini drone submarines and a special sonar device.