TEHRAN -- Iran, China and
Russia held their third joint naval drills in the northern Indian Ocean on Friday.
Navies from Iran’s armed forces and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) are taking part in the “2022 Marine Security Belt” exercise over an area of 17,000 square kilometers (6,560 square miles), Rear Admiral Mostafa Tajoddini said.
The drills will include various tactical exercises such as rescuing a burning vessel, releasing a hijacked vessel, and shooting at air targets at night. He said the exercises began in the early hours of Friday morning.
The drills will include tactical exercises such as shooting at air targets at night.
The three countries started joint naval drills in 2019 in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman area, Tajoddini said.
“The purpose of this drill is to strengthen security and its foundations in the region, and to expand multilateral cooperation between the three countries to jointly support world peace, maritime security and create a maritime community with a common future,” Tajoddini said.
On Friday, the vessels units of Iran, China, and Russia, under the command of the fully homegrown Iranian destroyer Jamaran, fired from 20mm caliber weapons at pre-determined surface targets at sea, he said.
“Also, in the next stage, the ‘PHOTOEX’ exercise, including the formulation and offensive arrangement of the units participating in the exercise, was carried out in accordance with the threats in the region,” he added.
Tajoddini said Iran’s presence in international coalitions manifests the improvement of the Islamic Republic’s standing in the world.
He said Iran attaches great importance to the establishment of security at regional and international levels, adding, “That’s why the naval forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow any threat in the maritime field.”
Meanwhile, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said the exercise in the Persian Gulf is a show of force by the regional powers against foreigners.
“Since foreign countries are always looking for insecurity in the region, holding this exercise will definitely send a good message to foreigners,” Fada-Hussein Maleki told Fars news agency.
He warned the U.S. and the occupying regime of Israel that they must not have an eye on the region’s resources.
The Americans, as usual, have failed against Iran, Maleki said.
“The Americans formed an alliance with NATO and invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, achieving nothing but destruction in the region after almost 20 years. Therefore, these alliances have no place in the region,” the lawmaker said.
“The formation of a naval coalition in the Persian Gulf by the Americans will face the same fate that the previous ones did, because there is a powerful military force in the Persian Gulf like Iran,” he added.
Since coming to office last June, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has pursued a “look east” policy to deepen ties with China and Russia. Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in September, a central Asian security body led by Beijing and Moscow.
Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian visited China last week and Iran’s president met his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Thursday.