Special to WorldTribune.com
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, December 26, 2019
China, Iran, and Russia will hold joint naval drills, amid tensions between Teheran and Washington.
The military exercises will take place in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman from December 27 to 30, officials in Beijing and Teheran announced.
China will send the Xining, a guided-missile destroyer, to the drills, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters on Dec. 26. He did not give details on how many personnel or ships would take part overall.
In Teheran, senior armed-forces spokesman Aboldazl Shekarchi said the drills would “stabilize security” in the region. He said the drill’s purpose was to bolster “international commerce security in the region” and “fighting terrorism and piracy.”
The drills are coming at a time of tensions between the United States and Iran.
Washington has proposed a U.S.-led naval mission in the Persian Gulf, following a string of attacks in gulf waters that the United States and its allies blamed on Iran. Teheran denies the accusations.
Friction has increased since President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Teheran in May 2018 and reimposed crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic republic.