China, Russia, Iran Send Warships for Joint Naval Exercises in Gulf of Oman

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Warships from China, Iran, and Russia joined together Wednesday to begin naval drills in the Gulf of Oman and near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, China’s Defense Ministry announced.

AP reports other countries will also provide naval support in the “Security Bond-2023” exercises, the ministry said without elaborating.

Iran, Pakistan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates all have coastline along the waters lying at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

“This exercise will help deepen practical cooperation between the participating countries’ navies … and inject positive energy into regional peace and stability,” the ministry statement said.

AP further sets out the exercises scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday come amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China over a range of issues, including China’s refusal to criticize Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine and continuing support for the Russian economy.