RNA - "The wargames have angered the world's looter states a lot and they are very sad about the united move by the big powers of China and Russia and the Iranian Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval forces," President Rouhani said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday.
"The drills couldn't be tolerated by the small regional countries some of which are humble towards the US," he said, and blasted the US and Britain for their intolerance with regard to the drills.
Iran, Russia and China started the joint 3-day "Marine Security Belt" drills in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman area on Friday morning.
The event was the first such cooperation with Iran since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
It came amid US efforts to woo countries into a maritime coalition for patrols in the Persian Gulf, which have received a cold welcome from its allies.
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces announced on Sunday that the recent joint naval drills of Tehran, Moscow and Beijing in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean was meant to reassure that regional allies were capable of safeguarding security in the region and to warn foreigners, particularly Americans, that they were adding nothing but insecurity to the region.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the drills, Head of Naval Operations Department at the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Ebrahim Dehqani said that Iran and its allies can maintain regional security without any need to foreign forces.
According to Fars News Agency, the drills kicked off on Friday and covered 17,000 square kilometers consisting of various tactical exercises, such as target practice and rescuing ships from assaults and fires.
“Our friends will be assured [through these drills] that the maritime security can be established by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies and there is no need to the presence of foreign forces, particularly Americans, in the region,” the commander said.
“The presence of Americans only creates insecurity in the region.”
American forces, the commander added, have left the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman for the northern part of the Indian ocean, “which proves that they are well aware of their incapability in ensuring their own security.”
The Iranian commander said the message of the drills to enemies is that their slightest mistake will face a crushing response from the Armed Forces of Iran, adding, “Joint drills will be certainly held in coming years and we will even hold similar drills with other countries in the region."