Tehran, Iran – Iranian forces have concluded a two-day naval exercise with Russia in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
Forces and vessels from the navy divisions of both the Iranian army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) participated in the drill, which kicked off on Tuesday, alongside several vessels from the Russian navy.
Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, spokesman for the drill, said the exercise his country was conducting with Russia was flexibly designed to allow several other countries to join it at any time, adding that the Indian navy had requested to join.
Hossein Khanzadi, commander of the Iranian navy, had said the Chinese navy would participate in the drill over an area of 17,000 square kilometres (6,500 square miles).
Iran, Russia and China held similar exercises in 2019.
But on Thursday, an Indian news website, timesnownews.com, carried a statement by the Indian navy denying New Delhi’s participation in the naval exercise.
Participation of China also could not be confirmed, and Tahani, spokesman, did not mention Beijing and New Delhi as the exercise concluded on Wednesday.
Tahani said the all-Iranian frigate Jamaran, unveiled in 2010, led the exercise while Iranian and Russian navy helicopters provided air monitoring and support.
The exercises will include shooting at sea and air targets and liberating hijacked ships, as well as search-and-rescue and anti-piracy operations. Iran says it hopes to exchange information and technical and tactical experience while becoming better-equipped to “fight sea theft and terrorism”.
Iran’s army and the IRGC have conducted several drills in the past two months in a show of force amid tensions with the United States.
These exercises saw a variety of locally manufactured long-range missiles, drones, tanks, warships, submarines and helicopters tested on land, sea and air targets.