MOSCOW, Jan 19, (Asia Free Press): Russia and US top rivals Iran and China are scheduled to hold a joint naval drill in the Northern Indian Ocean and Sea of Oman, Press Office of Russia’s Pacific Fleet claimed, local media reported.
Russia’s Pacific Fleet said that a naval group including a missile cruiser, a large anti-submarine warfare ship and a large sea tanker had anchored off Chabahar, Iran’s only oceanic port, on the Gulf of Oman, IRNA reported.
“In the port, an official delegation of the Russian Navy will take part in a planned conference on conducting a joint naval exercise of warships of Russia, Iran and China,” it said by Russia’s Pacific Fleet without giving further details.
Earlier today, in an interview with IRNA’s foreign policy correspondent, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said that the joint military exercise by China, Russia, and Iran was not their first drill and it was not against any third party, he responded while asked about the joint military drill among China, Russia, and Iran.
Maritime security and the fight against piracy will be the main focus of the joint exercise; the envoy further added while pointing out the purpose of the joint drill.
In August 2021, the top Russian envoy in Iran told Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency that joint naval drills among Russia, Iran and China would be held in the Persian Gulf at the end of 2021 or early in 2022 and that they would focus on safe navigation and anti-piracy operations.
It will be the second occasion that three-way naval exercises have been held by China, Russia and Iran, and probably the first one during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2019, the three navies held drills in the strategically important Gulf of Oman. The waterway connects the Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz – the world’s most important oil transit checkpoint, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes.