A top Russian Navy commander says his country and Iran are examining a plan to conduct a join naval exercise in the Caspian Sea in the second half of the current year.
Deputy Commander of Russia’s Caspian Flotilla Nikolai Yakubovsky announced the news after a Friday meeting with the commander of Iran’s naval fleet that has been dispatched to the Russian port city of Astrakhan, RIA Novosti reported.
In 2009, the two countries conducted their first joint naval maneuvers in the Caspian Sea, involving about 30 vessels.
Iran has dispatched two indigenously-built missile-launching warships to Astrakhan in a move to consolidate friendly relations between Tehran and Moscow.
During the Iranian naval fleet’s stay at Astrakhan Port, the Iranian naval officers will visit some military and port facilities in Russia and hold meetings with a number of high-ranking Russian commanders and officials.
On April 21, a group of Russian Navy warships docked at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas after a long journey from the Pacific Ocean.
The fleet, which comprised Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine destroyer and the logistic battleships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi vessel with a crew of 712, entered the Iranian naval zone in a bid to further strengthen relations between Tehran and Moscow and promote bilateral naval cooperation to maintain maritime security.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has been increasing its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly asserted that its overseas naval presence is meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to other countries.