Iran, China and Russia began naval drills on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, an Iranian naval spokesman said, warning this is only the first in what will be many joint maritime exercises between the three nations.
Deputy commander of Iran’s Army for maritime coordination, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, said “The maneuver is to demonstrate Iran’s military’s capability and authority both in the region and in the world.”
As Breitbart News reported, the military joint exercises aim to “deepen exchange and cooperation between the navies of the three countries”, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian outlined Thursday.
Wu said the Chinese navy would deploy its Xining guided missile destroyer — self-described as the “carrier killer” for its array of anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles — in the drills.
He did not give details on how many personnel or ships would take part overall in an exercise that concludes Monday.
The Gulf of Oman is a particularly sensitive waterway as it connects to the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes and which in turn connects to the Gulf.
Washington proposed a U.S.-led naval mission following several attacks in May and June on international merchant vessels, including Saudi tankers, in Gulf waters which the United States blamed on Iran. It denies the accusations.
President Donald Trump last year pulled the United States out of Iran’s JCPOA 2015 nuclear deal with six nations and re-imposed sanctions on the country.