TEHRAN – Iran’s Ministry of Defense announced joint naval maneuvers with Russia and China in the international waters of the Gulf of Oman, north of the Indian Ocean.
Thus, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Persian country, Brigadier General Qadir Nezami, announced that maneuvers are already being carried out with third countries and that the exercises between Russia and China will be held in the near future. In its interview with local media Fars News, the military high command did not provide any particular date.
According to Nezami, the main purpose of these naval maneuvers will be “to exchange tactical and military experiences.” In addition, he stressed that these maneuvers are part of Iran’s defensive diplomacy, which aims to maintain relations with non-hostile states.
An example of this, said Nezami, is the recent visit to China of the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, Major General Mohamad Bagheri.
The statements of the Iranian military high command occur in the context of the US plans to deploy 55 ships in November near the territorial waters of Iran as part of Operation Sentinel. Countries such as Japan, Germany and France refrained from participating in this operation.
The administration of US President Donald Trump plans to form an international mission in November with 55 ships to patrol sea waters near Iran, the Kyodo agency reported from Washington.
With reference to informed sources, the agency reported that the United States plan could face difficulties, since only four countries – Australia, Bahrain, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia – confirmed their participation in the Operation Sentinel coalition in the Strait of Hormuz that connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
The United States also asked Japan to participate in the patrols, but it abstained due to its traditional friendly relations with Iran.
According to the agency, the plan was presented to delegates from 28 countries earlier this week in Bahrain aboard a British warship.
France and Germany did not participate in this meeting, as the Japanese agency pointed out, seeking to distance themselves from Trump, who had previously withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (PAIC) signed in 2015.
Talks on a joint naval mission intensified after Iran stopped British oil tanker Stena Impero in retaliation for the arrest of the Grace 1 tanker with Iranian crude in early July in Gibraltar.