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War games between Iran, China and Russia announced

PortandTerminal.com, December 6, 2019

Iran will hold joint naval drills with China and Russia starting on December 27, the head of Iran’s navy said on Tuesday during a meeting with a Chinese military official

TEHRAN, IRAN – On December 27, Iran will conduct joint war games with China and Russia. The games will take place on land, sea, and air in the Straits of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean and are being called “Naval Security Belt” said the Iranian Navy’s Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi.

The comments regarding the joint naval exercise were made during a meeting with a Chinese military official in Tehran, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

Iranian Navy’s Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi

Two days earlier, Khanzadi had said the exercises would take place in the “near future” and that the joint operation would “send a message to the world,” according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.

“A joint war game between several countries, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, indicates a remarkable expansion of cooperation,” he added.

Iran, China and Russia are all rivals of the US, which last month launched its own naval operation in Bahrain to protect shipping in the troubled waters of the Persian Gulf.

Security analysts see the link between Iran, China, and Russia as dangerous to Western interests. All three countries want to make sure that the world, especially the Western world, is acutely aware of their alliance to counter Western interests in the region. Holding joint naval exercises in the world’s most unstable waters is a good way to get their message across.

Iran is under enormous pressure to break the stranglehold on its economy which has been ravaged by the US sanctions.

Iranian civilian protests have killed hundreds of people since they started on November 15

Recent mass protests sparked by a hike in fuel prices in Iran have killed over 200 people, according to Amnesty International. America is claiming as many as 1,000 people may have been killed. Regardless of which number is correct, there is a strong sense in Tehran that people have simply had enough and are lashing out demanding Iran change its course. Predictably, Iran has accused the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia of engineering the demonstrations.

The launching of the US-led international effort followed a string of attacks on oil tankers and Saudi oil facilities in the region that Washington and its allies blamed on Iran, a charge it denies. Australia and the UK are the main countries participating in the US-led coalition.

Earlier this week Japan announced that it is planning to send 270 seamen to the Middle East to guard ships supplying Japan. Japan maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran and has said it would not join any U.S. coalition to protect merchant vessels in the region.

The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter Iran, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the region.

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