Jan 1, 2020, 5:14 PM
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Naval show of power against a divided coalition

Tehran, Jan 1, IRNA - The naval exercises of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, and China took place at an important and sensitive time. A group of analysts and foreign media say the three countries are sharing their views and efforts to showcase their ability to maintain trade security in the region with Washington's maritime coalition.

The four-day joint exercise that was conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, and China began in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean on Friday (December 27) drew the attention of many media around the world and provided various analyzes.

Many international analysts have emphasized that the timing of this military cooperation alongside its venue at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz has doubled the significance of the event. The exercise comes at a time when tensions between Iran and the US have peaked, and the United States, on the other hand, has almost failed to form a naval alliance that has long advocated and pressured many nations to participate.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf began with Washington's exit from the JCPOA and deepened as the White House exerted maximum pressure on Tehran. Attacks on some merchant vessels and oil tankers and then attacks on Saudi oil facilities last September made the situation more volatile than before. On the one hand, the United States has claimed to form a maritime alliance to ensure the safe passage of merchant and oil tankers. On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran also proposed the "Hormuz Peace Endeavor" to cooperate with regional countries in accordance with the UN rules, energy security, freedom of navigation and free movement of oil and other goods to all countries from the Strait of Hormuz and beyond that guarantee.

Al Jazeera's Website announced the beginning of Iran's first military exercises with China and Russia, saying it will be in a period of heightened tensions after Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian military officials have conveyed the message of this exercise of peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity; however, in Tehran's point of view, this exercise shows that Iran cannot be isolated.

China and Russia are among the remaining members of the nuclear deal, a deal which has sharply weakened since the US exit. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense described the exercise as a factor to deepen cooperation and exchanges between the navies of the three countries. A few days ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that his country was conducting naval exercises alongside Iran and the People's Republic of China in preparation for confronting terrorists and pirates.

But in its report, the British Daily Telegraph tried to downplay the exercise, calling it a routine military exercise between the armed forces of the three countries in line with international law and practice. However, the above analysis failed to ignore the facts of this joint action and wrote that the location of the maneuver in the Sea of Oman is extremely important because it is located near a waterway connecting the Persian Gulf and one-fifth of the world's needed oil passes through.

Even the Zionist Times of Israel could not remain silent about the outcome of the naval exercises, calling it the start of cooperation between the three naval powers.

Some analysts find China's presence in the exercise surprising. China has established good relations with Riyadh at the same time as it has good diplomatic and economic relations with Iran. Until now, it was abandoned from the Persian Gulf's issues, compared to Russia or the United States or Britain, but now because of the importance of this region to Beijing in its dealings with these countries, especially in the energy field, China is working to stabilize the Persian Gulf. But the importance of this cooperation has become even more prominent for Beijing, especially after the attack on several tankers, and especially after the drone strike months ago. According to an analysis by the British newspaper, Washington and its allies have made great efforts to blame Iran for the attacks, but Tehran has denied any involvement. The UN investigation into the attack, despite all Washington intervention, ended without a conclusion for the benefit of the White House.

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