Russia and Iran are getting ready to hold joint naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz, by the end of the year. "A joint Russian-Iranian exercise is expected to be held shortly in the Indian Ocean. The exercise may also be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, including in the Strait of Hormuz," Iranian Navy Commander Hossein Khanzadi said, during a three-day visit to Russia on July 27.
It is also worth noting that Khanzandi informed that, during his trip, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with an aim to expend bilateral ties. "This is the first memorandum of understanding of this kind, and it may be considered as a turning point in relations of Tehran in Moscow along the defense trajectory," Khanzadi said.
Commenting on the drills in the Straits of Hormuz, Rajab Safarov, director of the Moscow-based Center for the Study of Modern Iran, said that the joint exercises are the first step to completely eject the US from the strategically important Gulf region and end US domination.
Below is Safarov's article:
Rajab Safarov (Source: Irna.ir)
In The Near Future The US Will Be Totally Ejected From This Region
"By the end of the year, Russia will hold for the first time in our history joint Russian-Iranian naval military drills in the Strait of Hormuz. The Americans are feeling the upcoming end of their beneficial and totally uncontrolled presence in the Persian Gulf on their bare skin. The joint naval military drill implies the very deep cooperation between the sides, which places the naval cooperation and military-technical relations between the two countries on a new level. This means that Russian Concept of Collective Security in the Persian Gulf is really starting to function.
"The US has been so enamored of its sanctions policy that it has started to damage its own interests as well as the interests of its partners the world over. It’s well known that the new round of tensions in the Gulf was provoked by the Americans, who asked their faithful partner, Great Britain, to arrest an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar. Naturally, Iran saw that as an act of state terror and as a result arrested a British tanker in its territorial waters a couple of weeks later [under the pretext of]– as was stated officially - breaching [maritime] safety regulations, resulting in a collision with a fishing vessel.
"Following that, Donald Trump initiated the creation of yet another coalition, this time to provide maritime security in the Gulf and called upon the Europeans and the Arabs to join that initiative. Somehow, the Americans decided not to invite such an important local player to this coalition as Iran, which by its geographic and natural situation has the most extensive coastline in the Persian and Oman Gulfs, and precisely the most secure and effective routes to the outlet for the world's oceans run through its territory. The Americans, likewise, did not invite Russia, Turkey and China.
"Taking the aforementioned into consideration, we could logically term the American initiative as the Organization for Controlling the Persian Gulf under US patronage. The Europeans immediately grasped the futility of this idea and refused their participation in it, except for Britain, which by its acceptance, has compromised the US initiative and turned it into a purely parochial and banal Anglo-Saxon notion.
"The Arab Gulf States understand full well that they are intended to be made into 'cannon fodder' and thus they are fundamentally disinterested in further regional escalation, which may put in jeopardy all navigation, and, moreover, may lead to the complete destruction of the entire region’s gas and oil infrastructure. Iranian President Rouhani recently declared it publicly: either all countries of the region will sell oil or no one [will sell oil].
"But the Russian concept of collective security in the Gulf implies in contrast compares favorably to the others, in that the guarantee of providing safety is offered first of all to regional countries, while other interested states may serve as observers in this international structure.
"According to Russian FM Sergey Lavrov the Russian Concept objectively takes into consideration the current situation and the basic interests of the regional countries first and foremost. It’s based on the principles of creating a single anti-terror structure, exterminating pockets of terror and extremism in the Middle East, taking measures towards building trust and providing mutual security guarantees, while unconditionally respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the regional countries.
"One of the main ideas of the Concept is the real implementation of nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East, based on the NPT principles, thus turning the Middle East into WMD free zone. This is the goal of the proposed holding of an immediate international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf region.
"The American idea of controlling the region is a failure, while the Russian Concept of Collective Security in the Persian Gulf is making triumphant progress gaining power and more supporters with each passing day. The planned first ever in history naval Russian-Iranian military drills in this region is the opening gong in establishing control over American actions in the Gulf and soon its [the US'] full ejection from this region, which is strategically important for global security."