Russia, China and Iran have held military exercises in the Indian Ocean

The navy of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps took part in the 17,000-square-kilometer Naval Security Belt 2022 exercise, a spokesman for the exercise, Rear Admiral Mustafa Tayoldini, told state television. Naval exercises include training to rescue a burning ship, freeing a hijacked ship, and shooting at air targets at night.

Tayoldini said the exercises started early on Friday. The three countries began joint naval exercises in 2019 in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman, Tayoldini reminded.

“The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen security and its foundations in the region, as well as to expand multilateral co-operation between the three countries in order to jointly support world peace, maritime security and to create a maritime community with a common future,” Tayoldini said.

Since coming to power in March last year, Iranian hardline President Ibrahim Raisi has pursued a policy of deepening relations with China and Russia. Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in September, whose most prominent members are China and Russia.

Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdullahian visited China last week as the Iranian president met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Wednesday.

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