Russia, China and Iran to hold trilateral drills Friday

This photo released Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, by the Iranian Army, shows a military drill. (Iranian Army via AP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — China, Russia and Iran will hold joint naval drills on Friday, semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Thursday.  

The “2022 Marine Security Belt” exercise will take place in the north of the Indian Ocean and is the third joint naval drill between the three countries, Mostafa Tajoldin, a public relations official from Iran’s armed forces, told ISNA, according to Reuters.

China, Russia and Iran started joint naval drills in 2019, and will continue them in the future, according to the official.

“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,” ISNA quoted Tajoldin as saying.

Both navies from Iran’s armed forces and Revolutionary Guards will take part in the drills, which include various tactical exercises such as rescuing a burning vessel, releasing a hijacked vessel, and shooting at air targets at night, Reuters reported.

Since coming to office last June, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has pursued a “look east” policy to deepen ties with China and Russia, Reuters said.

Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in September, a central Asian security body led by Beijing and Moscow.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian visited China last week and Iran’s president was meeting his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Thursday.

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