Iran, China, and Russia Run Joint War Drills at Sea

Iranian navy ship (Wikimedia Commons)
March 12, 2024

Iran, Russia, and China kicked off a series of joint war drills on Tuesday in the Gulf of Oman, displaying their unified military might amid ongoing terror attacks by Tehran’s proxies on Western shipping vessels and military positions.

The military drills will last until Friday and "involve warships and aviation" maneuvers, according to Iran’s state-controlled press. The combined military activity is meant to demonstrate the nations’ ability to protect "maritime economic activity" but comes at a time when Iran’s terrorist proxy groups are wreaking havoc on international shipping lanes, particularly in the nearby Red Sea.

China reportedly dubbed the drills "Maritime Security Belt—2024" and said they were "jointly maintaining regional maritime security." Russia’s Pacific Fleet arrived at an Iranian port city on Monday, according to the report, and the navies of neighboring countries—including Azerbaijan, India, Kazakhstan, Oman, and Pakistan—will serve as spectators.

The war games mark a show of force from three of the globe’s most malign and anti-American regimes. They come as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen wreak havoc on international shipping routes, firing missiles at commercial vessels as well as American military targets. A Houthi attack in January killed three American military members and another last week killed three on a commercial ship.

As the war drills take place this week, China is slated to send a "guided-missile destroyer" as well as a "guided-missile frigate" and several other supply ships, according to Iranian media, which cited China’s defense ministry.

Iranian officials say the exercises will boost "the security of international maritime trade, combating piracy and maritime terrorism."

Tehran first hinted at the drills in February, saying they would be held before the end of the Iranian calendar year, March 19. This is the fifth military drill held by the countries in recent years.