Security in Indian Ocean safeguards global economic interests: admiral

December 28, 2019 - 19:33

TEHRAN — Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, the deputy commander of the Iranian Navy, has highlighted the importance of establishing security in the Indian Ocean, saying it would guarantee economic interests of countries.

Tahani said on Saturday that north of the Indian Ocean is one of the most important waterways in the world and plays an important role in international trade, Tasnim reported.

Iran, Russia, and China started a joint naval drill on Friday. It will last for four days.

The naval exercise, codenamed “Marine Security Belt” is held in the north of the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman.

“Ensuring full security of shipping lines in the region, especially in the area between the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Malacca and the Bab al-Mandab Strait… safeguards economic interests on the global stage on the one hand and necessitates cooperation and convergence among different navies on the other hand,” Tahani remarked.

He also said common maritime threats and political developments between the three countries have helped their navies boost trilateral cooperation.

On Friday, Tahani 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,” he stated.

He 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,” the admiral explained.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said on Friday that the joint military exercises show that Iran and its partners are committed to secure vital waterways.

“Our joint military drills in Oman Sea/Indian Ocean w/ our Russian & Chinese partners make clear our broader commitment to secure vital waterways,” Zarif tweeted.

Zarif added that Iran has been insisting that it is ready to work with its neighbors on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf to secure maritime trade in the region based on the Hormuz peace initiative.

“Iran has long stated its readiness to work w/our neighbors to secure the Persian Gulf. #HOPE-Hormuz Peace Endeavour-is on the table right now.”

MH/PA

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