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Russian flotilla enters Iranian waters for joint naval drill

A file photo of Russia's Stoiky corvette

A Russian flotilla, comprising the Stoiky corvette and KoLa refueling ship, has entered Iran’s territorial waters for the 2021 combined naval exercise.

The flotilla was welcomed on Tuesday by two vessels belonging to the navies of the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

After the welcoming ceremony, Russian commanders were transferred to Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, southeast Iran, where they attended a briefing and coordination meeting.

Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, the spokesman for the naval drill, said during a joint press conference with the commander of the Russian flotilla that the maneuver will be held in an area of 17,000 square kilometers north of the Indian Ocean.

One of the goals of the exercise is to increase the skills of the personnel in naval aid and rescue operations, he added.

During the drill, Tahani further said, the navies of the Iranian Army and the IRGC will interact with each other on the establishment of maritime trade security in international seas and practice command and control operations.

“The most important message of this exercise is peace and friendship for neighboring countries and those in the region,” he said. “Iran, in the 43rd year after the [1979 Islamic] Revolution’s glorious victory, has reached a level of maturity in maritime science and technology that it is hosting world powers a second time for a combined drill.”

‘India will join maneuver’  

Also speaking on Tuesday, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said the drill is aimed at achieving collective security in the region which will help sustain security in the northern Indian Ocean.

“Since last year, a series of combined maritime security exercises have been held with the participation of regional and world countries …. In the drill, which began today, the Russian Navy has joined the exercise site and the Indian Navy will also participate,” he added.

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