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Iran, Russia planning joint naval exercises in Caspian Sea

Russian President Vladimir Putin after delivering his annual address to the Federal Assembly at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow on Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Russian Look/Zuma Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russia and Iran are planning joint naval exercises in the Caspian Sea “in the near future,” an Iranian naval official has said.

Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi on January 6 as saying that the two countries are planning “tactical, rescue, and anti-piracy war games.”

Iran and Russia conducted naval drills in the Caspian Sea in 2015 and 2017.

Khanzadi also said “all countries around the Caspian” oppose any military presence in the area by any non-littoral countries.