Admiral Sajjad Kouchaki is the chief of the Iranian Navy. On October 29, 2006 he commented that the presence of U.S. warships in the Gulf, "indicates the hostile nature of the U.S. policy" and that Iran "is completely ready to confront any possible threat." Ships from Italy, France, Australia, Bahrain, the United States and Britain are taking part. Saudi Arabia is notably absent. Sources: Jim Krane. "Iran Criticizes U.S.-Led Nuke Exercise." Associated Press. October 29, 2006; n.a. "Iran Calls Adventurous a U.S.-Led Nuclear Interception Navy Exercise in the Gulf." Associated Press & The International Herald Tribune. October 29, 2006.