Russia, Iran and China will hold four-day joint naval maneuvers that will kick off on December 27, spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces Abolfazl Shekarchi said on Wednesday (25th Dec).
The drill, which is to start on Saturday, will be the first such trilateral exercise as Tehran seeks to boost military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow amid unprecedented economic sanctions from Washington.
“The joint drills of Iran, China and Russia will begin in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman on Friday and last four days,” the news agency IRNA quoted the spokesman as saying.
As the spokesman said, one of the tasks of the maneuvers is “to increase experience in international trade security in the region.”
Fighting terrorism and piracy is also among the goals of the exercise, he added.
“Another goal is to exchange experience in rescue operations at sea,” the spokesman said.
Amid the recent rising tensions in the Persian Gulf, including attacks on oil vessels and a missile-and-drone assault on the Saudi oil industry, the U.S. has sent a number of American troops to the region and additional missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia.
Washington alleges that Iran carried out the September attack on the world’s largest oil processor in the kingdom and an oil field, which caused oil prices to spike by the biggest percentage since the 1991 Gulf War.