TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian, Russian and Chinese naval forces are holding the first ever joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, focusing mostly on counter-terrorism as well as anti-piracy tactics.
A video footage released by Iranian State Media shows Iranian vessels sailing and naval forces welcoming Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry at Chabahar port in southeast Iran.
The deputy commander of the Iranian Navy, Admiral Gholamreza Tahani said on Friday that the main point of the exercise, dubbed Marine Security Belt, is to “bolster security of international maritime commerce,” as well as training aimed at “combatting piracy and terrorism.”
“The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity…,” he added.
He also said that the result of the drills will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated.
The participants are expected to partake in shooting exercises, fend off attacks of mock pirates as well as practice putting out burning ships.
On Wednesday, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman for Iranian Armed Forces, said the event is meant to promote the security of international trade in the strategic regions, adding that sharing experience in maritime rescue operations was also to be pursued in the maneuvers.
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 are also taking part in the drills, according to reports.
The war game comes amid US efforts to woo countries into a maritime coalition for patrols in the Persian Gulf, which have received lukewarm welcome from its allies.