Why Would Russia, China—and Iran—Plan Joint Naval Exercises?

As confidence declines in U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s ability to navigate the difficult moral and military choices in the region, new players are entering the picture in and around the Persian Gulf.

At the beginning of this month, Moscow confirmed preparations for a joint naval exercise with China and Iran in the Indian Ocean. At the Valdai Discussion Club held from Sept. 30 until Oct. 3 in Sochi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said flatly “We, the People’s Republic of China, and Iran are preparing naval drills for fighting terrorists and pirates in this part of the Indian Ocean.”

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