Earlier in the day, Iran’s regular army announced that the joint exercise, named Maritime Safety Belt, would begin this Tuesday.
“They [the drill] have already begun today,” embassy spokesman Maxim Suslov said, commenting on the matter.
The drill’s goal is to boost the security in the northern segment of the Indian Ocean and expand cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile, a Russian flotilla, comprising the Stoiky corvette and KoLa refueling ship, entered Iran’s territorial waters for the 2021 combined naval exercise.
The flotilla was welcomed on Tuesday by two vessels belonging to the navies of the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
After the welcoming ceremony, Russian commanders were transferred to Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, southeast Iran, where they attended a briefing and coordination meeting.
Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, the spokesman for the naval drill, said during a joint press conference with the commander of the Russian flotilla that the maneuver will be held in an area of 17,000 square kilometers north of the Indian Ocean.
One of the goals of the exercise is to increase the skills of the personnel in naval aid and rescue operations, he added.
During the drill, Tahani further said, the navies of the Iranian Army and the IRGC will interact with each other on the establishment of maritime trade security in international seas and practice command and control operations.
“The most important message of this exercise is peace and friendship for neighboring countries and those in the region,” he said. “Iran, in the 43rd year after the [1979 Islamic] Revolution’s glorious victory, has reached a level of maturity in maritime science and technology that it is hosting world powers a second time for a combined drill.”
Referring to the strategic importance of the North Indian Ocean region, he added, “The North Indian Ocean is one of the most important and strategic waterways in the world and plays an important role in world trade and shipping.”
He cited the security of sea lanes in the northern Indian Ocean as one of the most important goals of the combined exercise, saying, “The security of shipping lines in this region, especially in the area between the Strait of Hormuz, the Malacca Strait and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, guarantees the preservation of economic interests on the world stage, which requires the cooperation and convergence of different navies.”
Stating that the 2021 Iran-Russia combined naval exercise is of special importance, Tahani said, “Many countries navigate the Oman Sea and the Indian Ocean, which are key areas of world trade, and therefore maintaining maritime security is crucial.”
The spokesperson highlighted that improving combat readiness, achieving collective security, and exchanging experience in the field of counter-terrorism and piracy are important goals of this exercise.
“The training of information and security exchange at sea and rescuing the hijacked ship are among the most important operations which will be carried out in this exercise,” he noted.
Also speaking on Tuesday, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said the drill is aimed at achieving collective security in the region which will help sustain security in the northern Indian Ocean.
“Since last year, a series of combined maritime security exercises have been held with the participation of regional and world countries …. In the drill, which began today, the Russian Navy has joined the exercise site and the Indian Navy will also participate,” he added.
Iranian-Russian ‘Marine Security Belt’ drills are underway with the slogan “Collective Cooperation at Sea for the Security of Maritime Trade” in a 17,000-kilometer area with a message of peace and friendship.
- source : IRAN NEWS