Iran, Russia and China on Friday began the 2022 Marine Security Belt joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean under the slogan of “Together for Peace and Security”.
Iran’s state TV saiEdit summaryd 11 of its vessels were joined by three Russian ships including a destroyer, and two Chinese vessels. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard will also participate with smaller ships and helicopters.
The report said the maneuvers would cover some 17,000 square kilometers, or 10,600 miles, in the Indian Ocean’s north, and include night fighting, rescue operations and firefighting drills.
The Russian Eastern Military District’s press service for the Pacific Fleet said on January 19 that three Pacific Fleet ships had arrived in the Iranian port of Chabahar for the joint exercise. The naval task force embarked on a long-distance mission from Russia’s Vladivostok a few days before the start of 2022.
This is the third joint naval drill between the countries since 2019. It coincided with a recent visit by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Russia that ended on Thursday.
“Improving bilateral relations between Tehran and Moscow will enhance security for the region and the international arena,” Raisi said upon returning from Russia on Friday, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Tehran has sought to step up military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow amid regional tensions with the United States. Visits to Iran by Russian and Chinese naval representatives have also increased in recent years.
Iran has been holding regular military drills in recent months, as attempts to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers flounder.
Russia is also at loggerheads with the US and the West over its neighbor Ukraine, where it has sent some 100,000 troops that Washington, Kiev and their allies fear will be used to invade the country.
Russia on Thursday announced sweeping naval maneuvers in multiple areas involving the bulk of its naval potential - over 140 warships and more than 60 aircraft - to last through February. The exercises will be in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the northeastern Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, in addition to the joint exercise with Iran in the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said that the country’s naval forces along with their Russian and Chinese counterparts are able to establish security in international waters for the safe passage of trade cargoes without any need to the western powers, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
Cooperation and coordination of Iran, Russia and China is at the “highest level”, He added. He further underlined the extreme power of Iran, Russia and China in the international arena, and said that these three countries are known as naval power in the global level.
As a regional power, Iran’s Army Navy has had a serious and active presence in the region over the past decade and today all efforts of all three countries in maritime field are based on ensuring maritime security and safety, Rear Admiral Irani emphasized.
He added that the three countries of Iran, China and Russia provide maritime security and safety independently of Western alliances.