Iran Navy
Iranian naval vessels near the Strait of Hormuz, Jan. 3, 2012. Photo by Reuters
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The Royal Navy is sending its most advanced warship to the Persian Gulf, in a deployment intended to send a message to Iran following its threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, the Daily Telegraph reported.

According to the report, the HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer, will depart Portsmouth next Wednesday and has been equipped with new technology that will enable it to intercept any Iranian missile. It also reportedly possesses the world's most sophisticated naval radar.

Earlier this week, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond warned Iran against blocking the strait.

On Friday, Iran announced it will carry out more military exercises in the strait. Iran recently completed a 10-day drill in the strategic waterway.

Western countries have readied plans to use strategic oil stocks to replace almost all Gulf oil lost if Iran blocks the waterway, Reuters reported, citing industry sources and diplomats.

16 million barrels a day of crude pass through the strait daily.

Iranian officials have threatened in recent weeks to block the strait if new sanctions imposed by the United States and planned by the European Union, with the aim of discouraging Iran's nuclear program, harm Iran's oil exports.

Earlier this week, Iran said it would take action if the United States sailed an aircraft carrier through the strait.

The United States, whose Fifth Fleet based in the area is far more powerful than Iran's naval forces, says it will ensure the international waters of the strait stay open.