Ongoing Iran-China-Russia wargame not the last one: commander

December 28, 2019 - 19:37

TEHRAN - The deputy Army commander for coordination affairs announced on Saturday that it will not be the last time that Iran, China and Russia will hold a joint military exercise.

Iran, Russia, and China started a naval wargame, codenamed “Marine Security Belt”, in the Sea of Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean on Friday morning that will last for four days.

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari’s remarks came in a news-analytic conference to explain the specifications of the large-scale drill.

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.

Some media in Iran referred to the war game as a “show of power by the Easterners”.

“We can restore security to the region, so, there is no need to alien forces’ presence in our region,” underscored Sayyari who was Navy chief until November 2017. 

“In the current drill we will definitely realize a method on which we will count in our next trilateral wargames,” the commander pointed out.

“The ongoing drills have been staged to show the might of the Army’s naval force in the region as well as the world,” Sayyari said. 

He further highlighted the importance of the northern part of the Indian Ocean which is located between the three straits of Hormuz, Bab al Mandab, and Malaga, saying, “Iran enjoys 1,000 kilometers of maritime border overlooking the northern Indian Ocean, therefore deployment of the Iranian forces to the Macran coasts is completely justifiable.” 

Elsewhere in his remarks, the commander said, “Before the Islamic revolution in 1979, our navy was a force inside the territorial waters, but now we are hosting two world powers’ naval forces.”

Iranian navy has escorted almost 5,000 trade vessels 

Sayyari went on to say that the Iranian navy has thus far managed to escort approximately 5,000 trade vessels and tankers, adding, “The navy, meantime, has staged 30 rescue operations to save in-danger international vessels.”

“We have proved our naval might to the world, that is why the naval forces of the two world powers of Russia and China have come to our region to take part in a large-scale drill under Iran’s command,” Sayyari stated. 

The commander said, “As we proved in the previous drills, we won’t allow anybody to approach to the wargame’s operational region for spying.”

Sayyari said that the current drill is only a joint operation and the navies participating in the drill do not intend to form a coalition. “However,” he said, “the U.S. has always been trying to pretend the region as unsafe to pave the ground for forming a coalition.” 

On Friday, Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, the deputy commander of the Iranian Navy, said the exercise will cover 17,000 square kilometers and consist of "various tactical exercises," which include target practice and rescuing ships from assaults and fires.

“Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, it is the first time that the country has staged such a large-scale drill participated with two huge naval powers in the world,” Tahani stated.

Tahani said certainly those countries that share security, economic, political, and defense interests try to restore collective security in the region together. 

“Reinvigoration of international maritime trade, countering piracy, exchange of information and experiences in various fields including maritime rescue and relief are among the main objectives of the drill,” Tahani added.

Rear Admiral Tahani said peace, friendship and sustainable security under collective unity and cooperation are the main messages of the current naval drill. 

“The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity … and its effect will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated.” 


MJ/PA

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