Iran, Russia Hold Wargames

Two Russian warships docked over the weekend in Iran’s northern Anzali port in anticipation of the wargames.


The military exercises come just weeks after Iran and global powers signed a nuclear accord that will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief and lift restrictions on the country’s ballistic missile program.


At least 200 Iranian naval forces also will participate in the war drills, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.


Iranian Admiral Ahmad Reza Baqeri, the commander of Iran’s war fleet, disclosed that an Iranian destroyer and several “missile-launching warships” will participate in the drills with the Russian fleet.


The war games are a sign of the increased military ties between Russian and Iran, which have signed multiple arms agreements in recent months. Russia also has agreed to aid in the construction of new nuclear reactors in Iran.


The Russian fleet docked in Iran’s port “carrying a message of ‘peace and friendship,’” according to Iranian officials quoted by Fars. The fleet was “welcomed by Iranian naval commanders and staff.”


A ceremony was held in recent days to celebrate the arrival of the Russian warfleet, with Russian Captain Kirill Taranenko stating that military relations between the two countries are set to grow.


In addition to the war drills, Russian and Iranian military officials held a series of meetings.


“The maritime relations between Russia and Iran will be expanded and we will go ahead with our official and unofficial visits to Iran,” Taranenko was quoted as saying.


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