Navy chief visits Chinese, Russian destroyers participating in joint drills 

December 30, 2019 - 22:0

TEHRAN- The Iranian Navy commander on Monday visited the Russian and Chinese destroyers that had participated in the Maritime Security Belt drills with Iran in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean. 

Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi paid visits to the Russian Navy's frigate Yaroslav Mudry and China's Xining guided-missile destroyer, that had participated in the trilateral drills. 

In the meantime, a meeting of the commanders of Russian, Iranian and Chinese naval units was held to evaluate the drill. 

Naval forces of Iran, Russia and China kicked off the large-scale maritime exercise in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman on Friday morning. The wargame ended on Monday.

The joint military exercise was 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.

According to Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, the deputy commander of the Iranian Navy, the exercise covered 17,000 square kilometers and consisted of "various tactical exercises," which included target practice and rescuing ships from assaults and fires.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 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 had 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.

MJ/PA

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