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India joins Iran-Russia naval drill

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, Konarak

North of the Indian Ocean has for the second day been hosting a massive joint drill by the Iranian and Russian navies, with the aim of establishing security for international maritime trade. And now a select group of vessels from the Indian navy unexpectedly arrived in the area, requesting to join the exercise.

Codenamed "Marine Security in north of the Indian Ocean", the maneuvers saw shooting at sea and air targets and liberating hijacked ships, as well as search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.

On the second day of the drill, Iranian-made frigate "Jamaran" led an operation to liberate two trade ships from pirates, while Iranian and Russian navy helicopters provided air monitoring and support.

Iran says the exercise helped exchange information and technical and tactical experiences in securing its waters against sea theft and terrorism.

The drills wrapped up with naval parades with Iran's Jamaran destroyer, Russia's Stoiky corvette and KoLa refueling ship among other vessels being present.

Commander of the Iranian Navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced that China will soon hold similar naval drills with Iran.

In December 2019, China, Iran and Russia held the first joint naval exercise in the same area.

Military officials here say India and China's willingness to launch similar joint drills with Iran carries two important messages; first, the US pressures could not isolate Iran on the global stage, and second, naval powers in the region are increasingly coming together to ensure their collective security. Iran's Navy says this means that it is time for the US naval force to go home.

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