Russia, China and Iran will soon hold their second joint naval exercise as the Islamic Republic nears the conclusion of new long-term agreements with Beijing and Moscow.
The tripartite military exercise was announced by the Moscow Ambassador to Tehran Levan Jagaryan during an interview with RIA Novosti. Asked if Russia, China and Iran plan to resume their first joint naval exercises by the end of 2019, he said another round of preparations is scheduled for later this month. The next multilateral naval exercise will be held in the northern Indian Ocean in mid-February 2021, Jagaryan said.
A rare reunification of US rivals comes as Biden announces “America is back”, signaling a return to traditional foreign policy trends reconsidered under president Donald Trump’s “First America” policy.
Although his administration has vowed to impose sanctions on Russia, it has left Trump’s tough policy toward China and Iran. The United States imposed harsh sanctions on Iran when Trump unilaterally decided to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, in which Beijing and Moscow were also parties, along with France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Jagaryan reaffirmed Russia’s acceptance of the agreement and continued cooperation with Iran, including projects such as the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Their talks reached the Iranian border, including joint efforts on Syria and in the arms trade, part of which was officially opened for the first Islamic republic in a decade.
“The modern history of Russia-Iran military-technical cooperation is more than 50 years old,” Jagaryan said. The Russian diplomat said he expected a two-decade agreement linking Moscow-Tehran relations to be automatically renewed within five years and opened the door for a new agreement one that can happen.
Speaking to the official Islamic media of the Republic of Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the end of the 25-year economic cooperation plan with China was “not far off”. “Our strategic vision for the region must be integrated, not based on deletion,” Sharif said. Iran is indispensable and no one can exclude Iran from the regional equation.
Beijing and Tehran recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of their relationship, an event that Iranian Ambassador to China Mohammad Keshavarzzadeh said on Friday will be accompanied by good news on bilateral relations.