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Russia to hold naval drills with Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan in early September

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry (777) and Iranian corvette Bayandor (81‎) during a naval drill in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean. (Photo by IRNA)

The Russian Defense Ministry says the country is set to stage joint naval exercises with three other Caspian Sea littoral states, including Iran, early next month.

The ministry announced in a statement on Tuesday that it would hold the drills with small missile and artillery ships from Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in early September.

Last week, a high-ranking Russian Navy commander said all naval exercises jointly planned with Iranian forces will take place as scheduled.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the deep diving competitions of the International Army Games 2021 in the southeastern Iranian port of Konarak on August 24, Deputy Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Lvovich Kasatonov pointed to the close coordination and constant contacts between the Russian and Iranian navies.

He said Moscow and Tehran will hold all of the joint naval exercises that have been planned.

The vice-admiral also said that diving competitions underway in Iran send the message of peace, and are aimed at boosting the capabilities of naval forces in rescue and relief operations in international waters.

The International Military Deep Diving Competitions 2021 are being held with the participation of diving teams from Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, India, and Syria in southeastern Iran, and will continue until September 5, 2021. The tournament reportedly kicked off on August 23.

Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Dzhagaryan was cited in a report by RIA news agency on August 23 that his country, China and Iran will hold joint maritime exercises in the Persian Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022.

Dzhagaryan said the drills are to “ensure the safety of international shipping and the fight against sea pirates.”

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