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Iran, China, Russia conduct massive naval drill

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, Chabahar

Russia's Guided Missile cruiser, Varyag and its anti-submarine destroyer, the Admiral Tributs paraded along Iranian and Chinese warships in Iran's southern territorial waters as the last phase of a joint naval maneuver, codenamed Maritime Security Belt.

Conducted over a 17,000 square kilometre area in north of the Indian Ocean, the one-day drill engaged some of the latest naval equipment of the three participating countries.

China's Urumqi destroyer and Iran's domestically built Dena and Jamaran destroyers were among the vessels that were present in the drill.

The trilateral maneuvers saw the three navies practicing anti-piracy operations, where they freed two commercial ships from pirates.

Iran's navy says the drill will significantly boost the three countries' coordination and synergy in combating piracy and ensuring the safety of international shipping in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

North of the Indian Ocean hosts more than half of the world's maritime oil trade, which pass through three strategic straits of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandeb and Malacca, together forming what's known as the golden triangle of international trade.

This is the third time Iran, China and Russia are holding a joint drill in this body of water, with the aim of turning the throughway into a safe transit route for all passing ships.

The joint military exercise with strong messages; on top of them is their growing naval cooperation to ensure collective security in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean. They also urge western actors in the region to avoid destabilizing activities.

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