Iran Ready to Ramp Up Joint Drills With China to Challenge US’ ‘Unipolar World’

A handout picture made available by the Iranian Army official website on January, 21 2022 shows an navy-man firing atop a warship during a joint military drill in the Indian ocean. – Iran, Russia and China will began today joint naval drills for three days in the Indian Ocean, seeking to reinforce “common security”, an Iranian naval official said.InternationalIndiaAfricaIran has repeatedly hosted joint maritime drills with its Chinese and Russian partners, and cooperated extensively with Moscow in the joint battle against jihadists in Syria. In 2021, Tehran signed a major, 25-year strategic cooperation agreement with Beijing. Negotiations on a similar deal with Moscow are currently being finalized.Iran welcomes the expansion of joint military drills with China, and believes such exercises will help defuse the threat posed to both nations by American-led unilateralism, Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani has said on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense ministers meeting in New Delhi, India, held on April 28-29.“The regional and international situation is changing, and as a result, the expansion of relations between Iran and China has become more important than in the past,” Ashtiani said, speaking to his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, on Saturday.

Highlighting efforts by Washington to escalate tensions and conflicts across a broad geographical area, from Eastern Europe to West Asia, Ashtiani said that America and the West’s “unilateralist and totalitarian approaches” are a danger to both Tehran and Beijing. “American policies are a common threat to Iran and China. We are against a unipolar world,” he said.

Calling for ramping up joint exercises with the People’s Liberation Army, as well as “dialogue and […] exchanges of military defense and intelligence delegations at different levels,” Ashtiani recalled the success of the recent Maritime Security Belt drills with China and Russia in the Sea of Oman in March.MilitaryTerrorists Lose: Russian, Iranian, Chinese Commandos Train to Take Down Pirates in Joint Drills18 March, 15:43 GMT

“This showed that the three countries are against the hegemonic views of the West and the United States, and we are ready to expand joint drills and exercises in the fields of sea, land and air defense quantitatively and qualitatively,” Ashtiani said.

Li Shangfu, for his part, praised the “deep and long-term” relationship between the Islamic Republic and the People’s Republic of China, and said the two countries “enjoy mutual strategic trust” and “favor independence and an end to the status quo,” while cooperating effectively in opposition to “the dominance of some countries.”WorldIran, Russia Agree JCPOA Has No Alternatives29 March, 11:36 GMTSpeaking to Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo on Saturday, Ashtiani said that the Islamic Republic would like to enhance defense cooperation with its regional neighbor, especially against terrorism, and invited the Central Asian nation’s armed forces to take part in future drills with Iran’s military. Ashtiani also highlighted efforts by “extra-regional powers” to meddle in Central Asia’s affairs, and said such interference could be squashed through strengthened cooperation between Iran and Tajikistan.Ashtiani also expressed Iran’s readiness for joint naval maneuvers with all of the security bloc’s members, and proposed the creation of a “Shanghai Maritime Security Belt” mechanism to improve the security of maritime routes and the safety of global trade.AnalysisSCO vs Washington’s Asia-Pacific Pacts: How Eurasian Bloc Can Oppose US DiktatYesterday, 16:02 GMTThe Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a major Eurasian political, defense, and economic organization created in 2001 by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The bloc’s membership has since been expanded to include India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran, with Tehran formally applying to join in 2022. In addition to its security and counter-terrorism mandate, the bloc serves as an important platform for the resolution of security-related disputes between its members.With a population of over 3.3 billion people and a geography stretching from the shores of the Baltic and Arctic Seas to the Pacific Coast, the East and South China Seas, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf, the SCO is the largest regional organization in the world, accounting for over 30 million square kilometers of territory, and about 25 percent of the world’s economy.


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