The Naval forces of Iran, Russia, and China along with their aviation units had kicked off a trilateral maritime exercise “Marine Security Belt 2022” in the Northern Indian Ocean. According to details, the participating contingents will carry out several tactical maneuvers including rescuing a floating vessel, releasing a hijacked vessel, shooting at specific targets in the daytime and at night, and other operations during the exercise. While highlighting the importance of the territorial region of the exercise, the Iranian Naval Spokesman Admiral Mostafa Tajoddini told the media that the existence of three straits of Bab el- Mandeb, Malacca, and Hormoz add up to the significance of the region, which play a key role in international trades. He said that China, Russia, and Iran try hard to maintain security in the critical waterway in a bid to preserve the national interests of the three nations. According to Admiral Tajoddini, “together for Peace and Security” is the motto of the tri-national drill.
Presently, the three American rivals Russia, China, and Iran had gathered to forge a partnership among them. The three nations had concluded long-term partnerships separately with each other to strengthen their cooperation in the fields of energy, trade, economy, defense, security, and space as well as political cooperation to support each other at international forums. Although the troika has not yet pinned down a formal defense alliance, the contours of their defense cooperation are clearly indicative of such collaboration during the coming years. According to Iranian General, the troika will collectively preserve the national interests of the three nations in the area. Previously, the United States and allies were bullying China in the Indo-Pacific region in the ploy of ensuring free lines of communication in the Indo-Pacific. In fact, it is an indirect message to the US side that the responsibility of ensuring free lines of communication in the Indian Ocean will lie with its rivals so it must remain at arm’s length from the region. Although there is a lot to learn from the statement, future events would reveal how the US perceives the situation.