While the U.S. continues to apply unprecedentedly heavy sanctions against Iran, China, Russia, and Iran will launch maritime military drills for the first time in the northern Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman. In addition, China staged an armed protest by test-launching a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that is capable of delivering an intercontinental ballistic missile-level nuclear warhead and reaching all over the U.S. The continued cooperation of China and Russia against the U.S. is garnering attention.
According to The Associated Press and the Mehr News Agency of Iran on Wednesday, the joint military drills named the “Maritime Security Belt” wargame among the navy troops of the three countries will be carried out from Friday to next Monday. The location of the wargame is at the entrance of the Persian Gulf and close to the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s biggest crude oil transportation strait. “The objective of the wargame is to strengthen international trade security in the Middle East. Iran, Russia, and China will share security experiences and train against terror attacks and pirates,” said an Iranian military source.
However, many believe that the drills are for China and Russia to support Iran, which is struggling with the U.S.’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and economic sanctions, in opposition to the U.S.
Iran expressed its intention to use the drills as an opportunity to expand military cooperation with China and Russia. “The wargame is part of extensive cooperation with the navy troops of China and Russia, which includes the production of submarines and destroyers,” said Hossein Khanzadi, the commander of the Iranian maritime branch, to the Fars News Agency. Heavy anti-U.S. countries, such as Pakistan, are predicted to join the joint military wargame among China, Russia, and Iran in the future.
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