Iran staged a joint naval drill with Pakistan on Tuesday in the waters of the Persian Gulf amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Iranian officials said the exercise aims at bolstering the combat capabilities of the naval forces of the two countries and sharing information and expertise.
“The exercise sought to demonstrate naval prowess and ensure closer coordination between the two sides,” said Captain Reza Sheibani, a senior Iranian Navy officer. “It also sought to establish dynamic interaction to create lasting peace and security in the region.”
The annual naval exercise is part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries and had been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The drill saw the participation of an Iranian destroyer, a missile-launching vessel and a helicopter apart from logistics units, Sheibani said.
Maritime transfers and a passing exercise meant to streamline communication and cooperation in the event of war or humanitarian crisis were also part of the exercise, he added.
The latest exercise comes two months after the Iranian Navy took part in the Aman-21 international naval exercise in Karachi as an observer.
Pakistan’s Navy had staged one of the largest naval exercises in the Arabian Sea that saw the participation of 45 countries, including the US, China and Russia.
Iran has been involved in multiple military exercises in the Persian Gulf recently with the participation of regional countries, including Pakistan, Russia and China. The exercises came amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran’s nuclear program.