In pics: Russia, Iran, China hold joint naval drills in northern Indian Ocean

Updated: Jan 24, 2022, 04:57 PM(IST)

Iran, China and Russia held their third joint naval drills in the northern Indian Ocean.

Navies from Iran's armed forces and Revolutionary Guards 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 Tajoldini, spokesman for the drills, told state TV.

The drills will include various tactical exercises such as rescuing a burning vessel, releasing a hijacked vessel, and shooting at air targets at night.

Joint naval drills

Iran’s state TV said 11 of its vessels were joined by three Russian ships including a destroyer, and two Chinese vessels. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard also participated with smaller ships and helicopters. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Third joint exercise since 2019

The drills will included various tactical exercises such as rescuing a burning vessel, releasing a hijacked vessel, and shooting at air targets at night.

The exercises began in the early hours of Friday morning. This is the third joint naval drill between the countries since 2019.

(Photograph:AFP)

Drill part of Iran's 'look east' policy

Since coming to office last June, Iran's hardline President Ebrahim Raisi has pursued a "look east" policy to deepen ties with China and Russia. Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in September, a central Asian security body led by Beijing and Moscow.

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

(Photograph:AFP)

Growing military ties between Iran, China and Russia

Putin praised the countries’ “close cooperation” on the international stage and said: “It is very important for me to know your opinion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

Tehran has sought to step up military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow amid regional tensions with the United States.

(Photograph:AFP)

To safeguard 'maritime security'

The exercise, held from Tuesday to Thursday, aimed to demonstrate the capability of the three nations to “jointly safeguard maritime security” and promote regional peace and stability, the China's defence ministry said in a statement on its website.

 The three-day joint naval drills, conducted from Tuesday to Thursday, was held in the Gulf of Oman.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Common target'

The latest drills come at a time when all three nations are at odds with the US over different issues. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had presented Moscow with draft documents on strategic ties that would cement joint collaboration for the next two decades.

Tehran has sought to step up military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow amid regional tensions with the United States. Visits to Iran by Russian and Chinese naval representatives have also increased in recent years.

(Photograph:AFP)

Bolstering political ties

China sent the guided-missile destroyer Urumqi, the comprehensive supply ship Taihu, ship-borne helicopters and 40 members of the Marine Corps of the PLA Navy to take part in the drills.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian paid a visit to China last week during which it was announced that Beijing and Tehran have launched a 25-year cooperation deal aimed at bolstering economic and political ties.

(Photograph:AFP)

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