MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Iran is seeking to hold joint naval drills in the Caspian Sea with regional countries, following the recent successful exercise with Russia and China in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said on Monday.
"We are seeking to achieve collective security, and for that purpose, we are inviting regional countries to join us [in the drills]," the Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.
After their naval maneuvers in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman, Iran, Russia and China agreed to hold joint maneuvers annually, the Iranian Navy chief said.
Russia, Iran and China kicked off joint naval maneuvers dubbed the Marine Security Belt in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman on Friday. The Iranian Navy commander announced on Sunday that all the stages of the joint naval maneuvers had been successfully completed.
As was reported earlier, the navy commanders from the Caspian states - Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan - signed an agreement at their working meeting in St. Petersburg on October 9-11 on cooperation in the military sphere. The agreement incorporates the most important areas of interaction, such as cooperation in the sphere of security, personnel training, technical and sea rescue services and the work on creating the Caspian Sea collective security system.
The meeting was organized under an agreement reached by the presidents of the Caspian Five states at the 5th Caspian summit held in Kazakhstan in August last year.