26 Dec 2019 22:17

Russian, Chinese, Iranian drills in Indian Ocean lawful - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Dec 26 (Interfax) - Joint naval exercises of Russia, China, and Iran in the Indian Ocean are held under lawful grounds, openly and legally, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"We are carrying out our activity openly, legally, and under lawful grounds. We are dealing with the issues of maintaining stability in the region, security, and the fight against terrorism," Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday.

"This cooperation, interaction is built on a bilateral and multilateral basis, but exclusively on a legal basis," she said.

The naval drills will be held in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman from December 27 to 30, the IRNA news agency reported earlier, citing spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces Aboldazl Shekarchi.

In late July, the media reported that Iran and Russia would hold joint naval drills. Then, Iranian Navy's Commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said that the naval drills would be held in the Indian Ocean, including in the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf.

It was reported later that China would also participate in the exercise.