Iran to join drills with Russia and China
The Iranian navy will take part in joint exercises with Russian and Chinese warships “this autumn,” Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri announced on Thursday in Tehran.
The chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces did not offer much in the way of details about the planned maneuvers, but said other countries such as Oman and Pakistan might participate as well.
Bagheri made the announcement on the sidelines of a military parade in Tehran marking Sacred Defense Week, according to the Mehr news agency.
“Exercises involving the navies of Iran, Russia and China will be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean this autumn,” Mehr quoted Bagheri as saying.
This would be the fourth joint exercise by the three navies since 2019, and the first since the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine. Eleven Iranian vessels, three Russian and two Chinese warships took part in the January 2022 exercises in the northern Indian Ocean. Among the activities practiced at the time were artillery fire on naval targets, search-and-rescue operations, and the liberation of a civilian ship from pirates, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Russia and China conducted a joint patrol in the northern Pacific, off the coast of Japan, earlier this month. A total of eight ships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet and the People’s Liberation Army Navy took part in those maneuvers.