On May 20, 2023, Channel 2 (Iran) aired a report about the "Maritime Security Belt 2023" joint Iran-China-Russia maritime exercise, which took place near the United States's Fifth Fleet and in the area of CENTCOM's activity. The reporter said that the West is trying to "weaken the Islamic countries and their allies," and he said that Iran, Russia, and China have common goals and that they are "taking steps to expand their defensive perimeters, neutralize threats, and increase and create military capabilities." Captain Oleg Gladky, the Commander of Russia's Northern Fleet Missile Ship Division, said that the purpose of the drill is to provide security for the region. Captain Qiu Maoxuan, the Commander of China's Nanning destroyer, said that the drill was very "important" and that he hopes this drill will lead to future "improvements."
Narrator: "In today's world of American centrality, the West is trying to restrict the countries that do not submit to its economic and political power, and to weaken the Islamic countries and their allies, by forming military alliances in east Asia, and by creating crises in the Middle East, in order to weaken the Islamic countries and their allies.
"Active countries like Iran, Russia, and China have common goals, and through their defensive diplomacy, they take steps to expand their defensive perimeters, neutralize threats, prevent war, and increase and create military capabilities.
"For this purpose, in the past few years they have conducted joint military exercises and joint defensive military drills in the Sea of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean. Maritime Security Belt 2023 was the last of these three drills. These drills are very important in order to detect threats and exchange knowledge and experience among countries, especially since all three countries belong to the defensive and economic Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
"The location of this drill is geopolitically important. On one hand, the U.S. Fifth Fleet is located there, and it is the area of CENTCOM activities. In contrast, countries like England and the United States are trying to build a massive naval base in this region, that could affect foreign investment and have an impact over the North-South Corridor for Iran, India, and Russia."
Captain Oleg Gladky: "The purpose of the drill between Iran, China, and Russia is only to provide security for this region, and to provide support for future forces stationed in the region."
Captain Qiu Maixuan: "I am pleased to participate in this drill with the powerful, friendly countries of Iran and Russia. The purpose of this drill is to provide security for this region of the northern Indian Ocean. I hope that this drill will lead to improvements in the future. Despite what the international community has said about this drill, it is important that these three countries conducted this drill, so we are very pleased by this."