General: Iran, Russia, China to hold naval drills soon

September 21, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian, Russian and Chinese military forces will conduct joint naval drills in the international waters of the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman “in the near future”, an Iranian general said on Saturday.

“The drills pursue various objectives, namely sharing tactical and military experiences, but they can be political as well and are indicative of some kind of convergence among the participants,” said Brigadier General Ghadir Nezami, head of the international and diplomatic affairs of the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.

Nezami underlined that the drills will be held for the first time since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Press TV reported.

However, he made no mention of the exact date of the exercises.

Back in July, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi unveiled plans for a joint naval drill with Russia in coming months with the aim of boosting military cooperation between the two countries particularly with regard to naval forces.

In his Saturday remarks, Nezami announced that Tehran would soon host delegations at the level of military chiefs and defense ministers from certain regional countries, without further elaboration.

Pointing to a recent visit by Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri to China, Nezami said joint military cooperation between Iran and China is on the rise, particularly in the field of manufacture, purchase and production of army equipment.

Tensions have been running high between Tehran and Washington since last year, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Recently, the U.S. has taken a quasi-warlike posture against Iran and stepped up its provocative military moves in the Middle East, among them the June 20 incursion of an American spy drone into the Iranian airspace.

MH/PA

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