On February 8, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian announced that naval forces from Russia, Iran, and China would participate in a joint exercise aimed at strengthening regional maritime security and training in search and rescue operations.
A fleet of two Russian ships arrived in Iranian territorial waters on Tuesday for the Maritime Security Belt 2021 exercise, receiving a warm welcome from the Iranian navy and the Revolutionary Guards.
Senior Russian officers disembarked at Chabahar Port to take part in a co-ordination briefing before the start of the exercise.
Along with Russian ships, the exercise involves many Iranian surface ships, submarines, and smaller coastal defense vessels, as well as search and rescue ships.
The exercise covers an area of 17,000 square kilometers and is expected to involve Chinese and Russian forces.
Iranian Navy Admiral Gholamreza Tahani said the exercise was aimed at “strengthening the security of international maritime trade, tackling piracy and terrorism, and exchanging information.”
“The most important message of this exercise is peace and friendship for neighboring countries and the wider region,” Tahani said.
“Iran, 43 years after the Revolution , has reached a level of maturity in marine science and technology that is hosting world powers for the second time for a combined exercise.”
On Sunday, Iranian Admiral Habibollah Sayyari referred to the Russian-Iranian exercises as a demonstration of “the navy of the Iranian armed forces,” saying that “when the powerful Russian navy exercises with the Iranian navy it sends a clear message.”