China, Russia and Iran began five days of joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman

Chinese officers aboard the Nanning ship (Reuters) (AKHTAR SOOMRO /)

China, Russia and Iran will effect naval exercises units in the Gulf of Oman from March 15 to 19, the Chinese Ministry of Defense announced in a statement on Wednesday.

“The navies of China, Iran and Russia will carry out naval exercises in which the Chinese destroyer Nanning will participate”, highlighted the Chinese ministry, which called the maneuvers “Maritime Safety Belt”.

“The exercises will try to deepen practical cooperation between navies of the participating countries to demonstrate their willingness and ability to jointly safeguard maritime security,” the statement said.

China’s Defense Ministry further noted that the exercises “demonstrate the willingness and ability to jointly maintain maritime security and actively build a community for a shared future at sea, as well as inject positive energy into regional peace and stability.”

Maneuvers by Iran, Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman in late 2019 maneuvers (Wana/Reuters)
Maneuvers by Iran, Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman in late 2019 maneuvers (Wana/Reuters) (WANA NEWS AGENCY/)

The three countries have been strengthening their relations as an axis in opposition to the West. In 2022, they conducted similar exercises in the same area, involving artillery firing practice against naval targets, joint tactical maneuvers, and offshore search and rescue missions.

In February 2021, the three fleets deployed their fighting muscle in the Indian Ocean and in late 2019 in the Gulf of Oman. In the exercises two years ago, Iranian state television celebrated the “new triangle of sea power.”

The Beijing-Moscow-Tehran axis is gigantic in demographic terms, with a combined population of 1.5 billion. Huge, from a geographical point of view, with 29 million square kilometers and an economy that together represents more than 20% of world GDP. In addition, with two of its members: China and Russia, which are part of the exclusive nuclear club and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, with the respective right to veto. The new Axis is also endowed with military power, capable of counterbalancing, in the areas of dispute, in the naval, land and air fields, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Prior to the war in Ukraine, the Sino-Russian-Iranian Triple Alliance was strengthened by the civil war in recent years in Syria. They lobbied together on several fronts to prevent the Western powers and their Middle Eastern partners from successfully overthrowing the Assad regime. That way, established a military operations base near Iran, south of Russia and west of China.

That was the beginning of this axis which is now showing its military muscle in the Indian Ocean. Iran is already providing military assistance to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, supplying suicide drones, while the international community remains attentive to a possible collaboration of the Chinese regime that would upset the game.

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