Iran, China, Russia to Hold Joint Naval Exercise Later This Month

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said the drills, codenamed Naval Security Belt, would be held on Dec. 27 in the Indian Ocean

Iranian warship Alborz (Archive photo: AP)

Iran, Russia, and China will hold a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean later this month, as tensions continue to mount between the three nations and the West.

“The trilateral naval exercise codenamed Naval Security Belt will be held on December 27,” said the commander of the Iranian Navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi.

“The aim of those exercises is to ensure collective security and help boost the security in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, where various incidents, including pirate attacks, are taking place,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted the admiral as saying.

The joint wargame will “send a message to the world,” Khanzadi was quoted as saying by Iran’s Mehr news agency.

“A joint wargame between several countries, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, indicates a remarkable expansion of cooperation,” the senior officer emphasized.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the countries were planning exercises designed to train for anti-terror and anti-piracy missions.

Khanzadi also expressed the Iranian Navy’s readiness to work with China in the joint production of destroyers and submarines.

“We will begin manufacturing heavy surface and subsurface equipment in the near future, and are ready for joint operations and the exchange of technical data as well as research capacities with China,” he said.