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China, Russia and Iran to hold joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman

Iranian soldiers take part in the "National Persian Gulf day" in the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian soldiers take part in "National Persian Gulf Day" in the Strait of Hormuz in April 2019. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

China, Russia and Iran announced they will hold joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman from Dec. 27 to 30, AFP reports.

Why it matters: The drills come after the U.S. withdrew from a key international nuclear deal with Iran — and as it faces down geopolitical threats from both Russia and China, especially after the end of a key Cold War missile treaty.

What they're saying: A senior Iranian armed forces spokesman said the drills would "stabilize security" and increase "international commerce security in the region."

  • Chinese defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian added that the naval drills would "deepen exchange and cooperation between the navies of the three countries."

Worth noting: The Gulf of Oman is only a short distance away from the Strait of Hormuz, which has been a site of contention over the passage of oil tankers between Iran and some Western nations.

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