China, Russia and Iran announced they will hold joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman from December 27 to 30, 2019.

The drills come after the U.S. withdrew from a key international nuclear deal with Iran and as it faces down geopolitical threats from both Russia and China, especially after the end of a key Cold War missile treaty.

A senior Iranian armed forces spokesman said the drills would “stabilize security” and increase “international commerce security in the region.

Chinese defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian added that the naval drills would “deepen exchange and cooperation between the navies of the three countries.

The Gulf of Oman is only a short distance away from the Strait of Hormuz, which has been a site of contention over the passage of oil tankers between Iran and some Western nations.

Axios / AB anada Flash Point News 2019.

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