An Iranian warship marks ‘National Persian Gulf Day’ in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran, Russia to Hold Joint Naval Maneuvers

Iran and Russia will hold a joint naval drill in the Persian Gulf this year, Iranian PressTV reported. “Our negotiations with Russia revolved mostly around technical and operational topics and we plan to hold a joint naval exercise…. Based on negotiations with the Russian Navy, the force will dispatch a fleet to the southern regions of Iran this year,” Rear-Adm. Hossein Khanzadi was quoted as saying at a news conference. The military office did not provide a date for the drills. Earlier this week, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, during the 8th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), where they reportedly discussed bolstering bilateral relations and military and defense cooperation. The announcement comes amid a showdown in the Gulf between Washington and Tehran. The Islamic Republic has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to attempts by the United States to reduce Tehran’s crude exports, and tensions have further flared since President Donald Trump’s recent move to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization.

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