Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 25th, 2020

China, Russia and Iran Begin Joint Naval Drills

China, Russia and Iran Begin Joint Naval Drills

TEHRAN - Iran has kicked off the first joint naval drill with Russia and China in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, Iranian state TV has reported.
The four-day exercise comes at a time of heightened tensions since the United States withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May last year.
"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," Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani said on state television.
Tahani added that the drills included rescuing ships on fire or vessels under attack by pirates and shooting exercises, with both Iran's navy and its Revolutionary Guards participating.
State television showed what it said was a Russian warship arriving at Chabahar port in southern Iran and said the Chinese will join shortly, calling the three countries "the new triangle of power in the sea".
"The aim of this drill is to bolster security of international maritime commerce, combatting piracy and terrorism and sharing information ... and experience," the flotilla commander said.
"Us hosting these powers shows that our relations have reached a meaningful point and may have an international impact," he added.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday the drill would "deepen exchange and cooperation between the navies of the three countries." He said the Chinese navy's guided-missile destroyer "Xining" was taking part in the exercise.
The US reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran after quitting the nuclear deal last year, prompting Tehran to hit back with countermeasures by dropping nuclear commitments.    
Remaining parties to the badly weakened agreement include the UK, France and Germany, as well as China and Russia.
In June, US President Donald Trump authorised an attack after Iran shot down a US drone, only to call off the retaliation at the last moment. (Aljazeera)