By Adam Kredo
Washington Free Beacon
August 11, 2015
Iranian and Russian naval forces on Tuesday staged a series of war drills
in the waters near northern Iran, in another joint show of force meant to
display the two nations’ control of nearby waterways.
An Iranian destroyer and team of Russian
warships staged a series of war drills and engaged in joint training exercises,
according to reports in Iran’s state-controlled press.
Two Russian warships docked
over the weekend in Iran’s northern Anzali port in anticipation of the
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
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
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
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
“Iranian forces will most likely pay a
visit to Russia in mid-October,” the Russian military leader added.
Levan Jagarian, Russia’s ambassador to
Tehran, reportedly attended the docking ceremony and called for “for boosting
mutual ties between the two countries in various fields,” according to the
The two nations went on to say that
“expanding bilateral economic, political, and military cooperation is among
the priorities of the visit.”
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser
and expert on rogue regimes, told the Washington Free
Beacon on Monday that the Obama administration is ignoring the
Russian-Iranian military buildup.
“We’re witnessing a new great game,
and Obama is so self-centered he keeps playing solitaire,” Rubin said at the
time. “Obama simply doesn’t understand that the world is full of dictators
who seek to checkmate America. What he sees as compromise; they see as weakness
Referring to a visit last week to Russia
by IRGC leader Qassem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of Americans,
Rubin said it is clear that Moscow and Tehran aim to build a tight military
“Visiting Russia to talk arms purchases
and now this naval visit, it’s clear that Putin and Khamenei will waste no
time to really develop their military cooperation,” he said.