Despite Iran’s Malignant Actions, China, Russia Hold Joint Naval Exercise with Tehran

Iran is conducting naval drills with China and Russia. Illustrative naval ship in the Middle East. By Joshua Spurlock

In the face of American sanctions and continuing malevolent activity by Iran, China and Russia joined the Islamic Republic starting last Friday in joint naval drills for the first time since the Islamic Revolution put Iran’s radicals in power in 1979. Fars News Agency noted the first-time nature of the exercises, done in the Indian Ocean and Sea of Oman and dubbed “Marine Security Belt.”

The two world powers’ partnership with Iran doesn’t look to be ending any time soon. “The Iranian Navy’s joint drills with China and Russia is just the beginning of our cooperation and it will continue,” Iranian Rear Admiral Sayyari was quoted by Fars as saying on Sunday.

China and Russia have long supported Iran at the United Nations and elsewhere, but the joint naval exercise is a stepped up partnership even as the United States has been seeking to isolate Iran for its nuclear program and support for terrorism. In recent months, Iran has advanced their nuclear program in contravention of their nuclear deal with world powers, attacked shipping and the oil industry in the region and downed an American drone.

Just one day before Iran started the drills with Russia, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to a press release by Netanyahu’s office, the leaders discussed Iran and Syria.

That same day, the head of Israel’s spy agency—the Mossad—said Iran is their top priority. “Iran is at the head of the Mossad’s work priorities. All Iranian nuclear, long-range missile and precision missile activities, its regional spread and its support for terrorist organizations are a challenge to the security of the State of Israel and its citizens,” Head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen was quoted as saying on Thursday in an Israeli press release.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in the same press release, while not specifically mentioning Iran, pointed out the Mossad’s wide-ranging skill.

“In the Mossad’s dictionary, you will not find the word ‘impossible,’” said Rivlin. “No target is too far away, there is no individual who cannot be reached, and nothing that remains out of its sight.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 29, 2019)

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