Iran, Russia and China have begun a four-day joint maritime exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman area.
The “Marine Security Belt,” as the event is codenamed, will last until Monday.
On Wednesday, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman for Iranian Armed Forces, said the event was meant to promote the security of international trade in the strategic regions, adding that sharing experience in maritime rescue operations was also to be pursued in the maneuvers.
On Thursday, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian announced that Beijing’s Xining guided-missile destroyer would take part in the drills. Three Russian vessels are also taking part in the drills, according to reports.
The event is the first such cooperation with Iran since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
It comes amid US efforts to woo countries into a maritime coalition for patrols in the Persian Gulf, which have received lukewarm welcome from its allies.