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Russia, China, Iran holding joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 15, 2023 4:57 PM 1 min read
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Russia, China, and Iran have started the Security Belt-2023 joint maritime exercises in the Gulf of Oman, which will last until March 19, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry.

The three countries reportedly plan to practice aerial reconnaissance, rescue operations, and maneuvering during the drills developed from previous joint exercises held in 2019 and 2022.

The joint maritime exercises aim "to deepen the practical cooperation among the navies of the participating countries," the Chinese ministry wrote in its press release.

Iran has developed strong ties with Russia in various sectors over the past year, providing Russia with Shahed-136 kamikaze drones that Russian forces have used to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Despite overwhelming evidence of the drone supplies, Iran has denied delivering them to Russia after the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Iranian state-owned news agency IRIB reported on March 11, citing Saeed Iravani, Iran's representative to the UN, that Tehran had concluded a contract to purchase Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.

Multiple U.S. officials have publicly stated over the past month that China was considering providing lethal aid to Russia, which Bejing later denied.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said there would be "real costs" for China if the country makes such a decision.

Explainer: China’s increasing role in Russia’s war against Ukraine
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