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Iran, Russia hold large-scale naval drill in strategic waters

A handout photo made available by the Iranian Army office on February 16, 2021, shows Russian corvette Stoikiy (545) during a joint naval drill with Iranian navy in the north of the Indian ocean. (Photo by AFP)

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, konarak

This is Russia's Stoiky frigate. It arrived in the Sea of Oman on Tuesday to take part in a joint naval drill with Iran. Codenamed Joint Drills for Marine Security in North of the Indian Ocean, the two-day maneuvers are carried out in a 17,000-square-kilometer area in the Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean.

Aside from Stoiky, the Russian navy has deployed its Kola bunkering vessel as well.

The military exercises features anti-terrorism operations, search and rescue operations as well as drills to repel attacks by pirates.

The ultimate goal is to ensure collective security for international maritime trade in the Strait of Hormuz, which is a highly sensitive waterway as one fifth of the world’s oil shipments pass through it.

The Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean are connected to the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz.

The US has, over the past years, been trying to expand its military presence in this sensitive region by clinching trade deals with Persian Gulf Arab states and conducting joint maneuvers with them.

Iran has repeatedly criticized the US's expansionist agenda in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, saying this has only stoked insecurity and instability in the region.

A long-time political and economic ally of Iran, Russia has now proven to be an effective security partner for the Islamic Republic as well.

Officials say one of the goals of this drill is to cement this partnership as a counterforce to Washington’s destabilizing presence in the Persian Gulf.

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