China, Russia, Iran launch 4-day-long military drills in Gulf of Oman
The drills are intended to “deepen practical cooperation among the navies of participating countries."
The Iranian, Chinese, and Russian navies joined forces to launch joint military drills in the Gulf of Oman in an attempt to fortify security and cooperation.
Named the "naval security belt combined war game 202," the drills were launched on March 15 and are due to last until March 19, according to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense in its statement on Wednesday.
The drills are intended to "deepen practical cooperation among the navies of participating countries," it added.
Read more: Nuclear negotiator in Oman: Iran policy to trigger regional stability
The time at sea will involve members from both marine and airborne units of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, and flotillas from China and Russia.
In recent years, Iran, Russia, and China have held joint navy drills before, with the aim to amp up the security of international maritime trade, counter and tackle piracy and maritime terrorism, and exchange details in naval rescue and relief operations, alongside operational and tactical experiences.
In more recent news as well, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese president Xi Jinping sent an offer to Iran and Arab nations of the Gulf, or the nations of the GCC, to host a summit this year in China.
This comes in light of the recent revelation of the agreement for the restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia last week. The original proposal, however, was made by Xi last December at a regional summit in Riyadh, during which he encouraged a meeting between Iran and GCC countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
The joint drills may serve in counteracting the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) trilateral security pact - a military alliance to boost nuclear capabilities and "strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific region".
Read next: Lavrov warns AUKUS may cause long regional confrontation