A trilateral naval exercise of Russia, China and Iran, codenamed Maritime Security Belt, kicked off in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean on December 27 and concluded on December 30. The active phase of the exercise began on Saturday.
All the planned stages of the joint naval drills between Iran, Russia and China have been successfully completed, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told IRNA news agency.
“All different stages of tactical drills, planned for the first time by the navies of Iran, Russia and China, have been successfully completed,” Khazandi said.
He added that “the joint drills of large Asian powers are not a separate event, but it defines a clear path for the region and the whole world in the framework of mutual cooperation.”
Khazandi said that “there is no need for foreign powers to be present in the region, and Iran is ready to cooperate on this matter with neighboring countries.”
The drills came amid US efforts to woo countries into a maritime coalition for patrols in the Persian Gulf, which have received lukewarm welcome from its allies.
On Thursday, Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Wu Qian announced that Beijing’s Xining guided-missile destroyer would take part in the drills. Three Russian vessels also took part in the drills, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Army Commander for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that his country plans to continue staging joint naval wargames with the friendly states of Russia and China.
“The Iranian Navy’s joint drills with China and Russia are just the beginning of our cooperation and it will continue,” Rear Admiral Sayyari told Fars News Agency (FNA) on Sunday.
He underlined the Iranian Naval forces’ capability to stage wargames with different world states to establish security in the region.