Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

China, Russia, Iran ‘Plan Joint Naval Drill in International Waters’

China, Russia, Iran ‘Plan Joint Naval Drill  in International Waters’

BEIJING - China, Russia and Iran are planning a joint naval drill in the Sea of Oman and northern Indian Ocean “soon” a semi-official Iranian news outlet reported on Saturday, just days after the United States blamed Iran [1] for a drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
General Ghadir Nezami Pour, head of international affairs and defence diplomacy of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff, said the drill would take place in international waters, Iran Press news agency reported.
“The exercises have different goals including the exchange of tactical and military experiences and sometimes they seek political goals which show a kind of convergence between participants,” he was quoted as saying.
“Officials at the level of defence minister, chief of staff of the armed forces and commanders of the armed forces will come to Iran in the near future and these actions reflect Iran’s active defence diplomacy.”
The comments came in the aftermath of the September 14 missile strikes on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities.
Washington accused Tehran of masterminding the attacks, allegations that Iran denied.
Tehran warned that any military action by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in “all-out war”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initially condemned the attacks on the oil facilities as an “act of war” but later said the US was seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis.
On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping condemned the attacks during a phone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, adding that he hoped the incident would receive a full and fair investigation.
There was no report of the joint drill plan in Chinese media.
Analysts said the exercise was possible as China might want to show support for Iran.
“The timing of the joint exercise might be a bit sensitive and some might take it as a show of China’s support for Iran should there be any military conflicts between countries,” Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said.
“But it might well be a regular military exchange between the countries if it is held in international waters and without targeting another country.” (SCMP)