Experts shed light on role of ongoing trilateral naval drills on security in vital waterways

As the joint maritime maneuvers, involving the Russian, Chinese and Iranian Navies, enter their second day in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman, experts underline the significance of such drills in securing international trade routes in strategic waterways.

The naval drills, the first of their kind, were launched on Friday with the aim of promoting the security of international trade in the strategic regions, as well as sharing experience among participants against piracy and marine terrorism.

The joint maneuvers with China and Russia can be considered as one of the greatest achievements of Iran’s defense diplomacy, sending messages to the West amid US efforts to woo countries into a maritime coalition for patrols in the Persian Gulf.

Dr. Bilgehan Alagoz, an international relations professor at Istanbul Marmara University says, “I think the main goal of the US maximum pressure policy on Iran is to contain China’s emerging power in World politics and to limit Russia’s influence in the Middle East.  Because China relies on Iran to diversify its energy supply and Russia is dependent on Iran to penetrate in the Middle East. In this context, the four-day exercise in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman aims to cope with the US policy of containment.”

Dr. Luciano Zaccara, Research Assistant Professor at Qatar University,  believes the joint military drill is a clear message to the US and the PGCC states about the strong ties between Iran, Russia and China in terms of security, in case a military option is still considered by the White House to deal with the Iranian file.

He also said, “It also shows the Russian will to play a significant role in the Indian Ocean security, far beyond their main area of interest in the Levant.”

Javad Heirannia, an Iranian political analyst,  also says the unprecedented drill shows Iran’s different options to tackle the anti–Iran threats from US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf. He also says holding the second session of Regional Security Dialogue in Tehran participated by Russia, China and India recently and also the formation of a block by Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur all indicate that Iran has many options to confront the US efforts to corner Tehran.

Payman Yazdani, another Iranian political analyst, believes the joint naval military drill of Iran, Russia and China in the northern part of the Indian Ocean shows the importance of establishing the security of the shipping lines for these three countries due to the significant role of the regional developments on the world economy. Yazdani also says the drill is supporting the regional balance of power.

The three countries have sent some of their most advanced vessels to take part in the four-day exercises.

Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, Iranian flotilla chief, said the maneuvers cover 17,000 square kilometers and consist of “various tactical exercises,” including target practice and rescuing ships from assaults and fires.

The United States has been trying to persuade its allies into an international coalition with the declared aim of providing “security” for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic Middle Eastern shipping lanes.

Washington claims Tehran played a role in two separate attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June, without providing any credible evidence to support the accusations, which Iran has categorically dismissed.

The US has sent troops and missile systems to Saudi Arabia following escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Iran has always reiterated that foreign military presence brings insecurity to the region.

From our partner MNA