World lives in post-West era, Iran says

December 28, 2019 - 19:29

TEHRAN - The entire world lives in the post-West era, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman wrote on his official Twitter account on Friday, noting that the Western powers’ domination and supremacy have come to an end. 

“The fact is that in the current transitional era, not everything happens in, nor by the West. We are truly living in a #Post_Western_world in which all global players have their share in its reality,” Abbas Mousavi said in regard to a trilateral drill in the Sea on Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean involving Iran, China and Russia. 

The large-scale maritime exercise, codenamed “Marine Security Belt”, started on Friday morning. It was launched from the southeastern port city of Chahbahar in the Sea of Oman. 

The joint military exercise is viewed by some analysts as a show of power and solidarity between Iran and the great powers of China and Russia in the face of pressure by Washington.

Visits to Iran by Russian and Chinese naval representatives have also increased in recent years.

China has sent a guided-missile destroyer to the four-day drills, which, according to the New York Times, Beijing has called a "normal military exchange" between the three armed forces.

"It is not necessarily connected with the regional situation," a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said.

China has close diplomatic, trade and energy ties with Iran, which has friendly ties with Russia.

The military exercise comes at a time that the United States is resorting to every ploy to isolate Iran in the world. 

Russia's Defense Ministry said on Friday it had sent three ships from its Baltic Fleet - a frigate, a tanker, and a rescue tug boat - to take part in the drills, Red Star, the official newspaper of Russia's armed forces, reported.

The ministry was cited as saying that it was the first time that such drills were being held in such a format.

The Times of Israel also reported that the drill is the first such trilateral exercise as Tehran seeks to boost military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow amid unprecedented economic sanctions from Washington.

The Navy Times website also reacted to the drill, reporting that the drill is seen as a response to recent U.S. maneuvers with its regional ally Saudi Arabia.

Global Time quoted Wu Qian, spokesperson of the Chinese Defense Ministry, as saying that the exercise aims to deepen the cooperation between the navies of the three countries, and conveys a goodwill gesture.

He further said that the joint exercise will also exhibit China's ability to maintain world peace and maritime security.

In the meantime, Global Times cited Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and commentator, as saying that the Sea of Oman is a sensitive place and also vital to global energy transport, and its situation “could largely affect China's economy and security”.

Song believes the joint drill will de-escalate the regional tension as two influential countries are standing together to safeguard peace and stability of the Persian Gulf. "Such a gesture urges the U.S. not to launch military actions unilaterally or put more pressure on Iran," he said. 

“The move sent a clear signal to the U.S.: the Iran issue should be addressed through negotiations based on the previous deal rather than military actions. The U.S. should stop fanning the flames,” Song said.

Strengthening military cooperation through such exercises will also help bolster China's own economy, energy, and national security, besides safeguarding the regional transportation and energy channels, Song told the Global Times on Thursday, noting it is important for China to boost its overseas escort strategy. 

Such a drill also improves the capabilities of the Chinese Liberation Army (PLA) in counter-terrorism, anti-pirate and humanitarian missions, Song said. 

Also, the Associated Press reported that the trilateral drill is the first of its kind at a time when Iran is facing unprecedented sanctions from the U.S.

The joint drills are likely to be perceived as provocative by Washington. 

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.

According to the Sputnik, the United States is monitoring the joint naval drills, Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson said on Thursday.

"We are aware of the multilateral exercise being conducted between Iran, China, and Russia in the Arabian Sea", Robertson said. "We are monitoring it and will continue to work with our partners and allies to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways".

MJ/PA

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