News ID: 1862
Published: 0333 GMT September 21, 2014

Iran, China prepare for joint naval drill

Iran, China prepare for joint naval drill

Iran and China are preparing to launch a joint naval drill, commander of Iran's First Naval Zone announced on Saturday.

Admiral Amir Hossein Azad, commander of Iran's First Naval Zone, said the five-day military exercise would include joint rescue operations and testing the technical preparedness of the fleets of both sides, Fars News Agency reported.

"The journey of the Chinese army's fleet of warships for the first time to the Persian Gulf waters is aimed at joint preparation of Iran and China to establish peace, stability, tranquility and multilateral and mutual cooperation," he added.

The announcement of the drill comes as a Chinese fleet of warships on Saturday docked in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

This is the first time that a Chinese fleet, which includes a warship and a destroyer, has docked in Bandar Abbas.

The Chinese fleet is in Iranian territorial waters with the aim of expanding interaction between the Islamic Republic and China. It was on its way back from a mission to the Gulf of Aden.

On March 4, 2013, the 24th fleet of Iran's Navy, which included Sabalan destroyer and Kharg helicopter carrier, docked in China's port city of Zhangjiagang after sailing 13,000 kilometers in 40 days.

The Iranian Navy said in a statement on September 17 that Iran's naval forces rescued a Chinese container ship from an attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

It added that five boats, each containing five armed pirates, attacked the Chinese ship, Xin Lian Yun Gang, in an attempt to hijack the vessel, but the Iranian Navy's 31st fleet of war vessels foiled the move.

The Chinese vessel was reportedly on its way from Singapore to the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia when it came under attack. It continued its voyage after being rescued from the pirates.

In April 2012, Iran's naval forces also rescued a Chinese cargo vessel seized by Somali pirates in international waters off the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Jask and detained the hijackers.

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