What is behind the Iran-China-Russia joint exercises in the Gulf of Oman?

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Iran, China and Russia began joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman on Friday, which are to last four days and “show that Iran cannot be isolated,” the Navy said. Iranian.

These maneuvers come at a time of heightened tensions in the Gulf, since Washington’s withdrawal in May 2018 from the Iranian nuclear agreement, followed by the reinstatement of American sanctions that suffocated the economy of the Islamic Republic.

“The message of these exercises is peace, friendship and security through cooperation and unity (…) and their effect will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated,” said the counter- Admiral Gholamreza Tahani on state television.

Tahani added that the maneuvers – in which both the Iranian Navy and the Revolutionary Guards are involved – would include rescuing ships on fire or under attack by pirates, as well as shooting exercises.

State TV broadcast footage of what it said was a Russian warship arriving at the port of Chabahar (southeast), stating that Chinese ships were also under way, and calling the three countries ” new triangle of maritime power “.

“The objective of these exercises is to strengthen the security of international maritime trade, to combat piracy and terrorism, and to share information and experiences,” said the admiral.

In May 2019, deprived of the economic spinoffs it hoped for from the nuclear deal, Iran began to free itself from some of its commitments made under the deal signed in Vienna in 2015.

This disengagement aims in particular to put pressure on the European countries still committed to the agreement so that they help it bypass American sanctions.

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A military confrontation between the United States and Iran was narrowly avoided in June with Trump’s last-minute cancellation of strikes he had ordered after Iran shot down an American drone overhead. Gulf waters.

Tensions escalated further on September 14, with attacks on strategic oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Claimed by the Yemeni Houthi rebels, these attacks were attributed by Washington to Tehran, which denied.

Washington has since announced the deployment of additional troops to the Gulf and has launched a Bahrain-based maritime coalition to protect shipping in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

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