News:Iran, China and Russia has began a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
About the Naval Exercise:
- The aim of this exercise is to bolster security of international maritime commerce, combatting piracy and terrorism and sharing information and experience.
- The exercise began in the port city of Chabahar in southeastern Iran and are due to continue in northern parts of the Indian Ocean.
- The exercise comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Iran after the United States had withdrawn from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May,2018.
Significance of the exercise:
- The Gulf of Oman where the exercise is being held is a critical waterway as it connects the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz.
- It is located between energy producers countries namely Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman (the exclave of Musandam), and the United Arab Emirates(UAE).
- A fifth of the world’s oil passes through this waterway — around 30% of all sea-borne crude oil globally.
- Since 2019, the region around the Gulf of Oman has been a focal point of global tensions.
- In June 2019,two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman.The ship were carrying oil and other transporting a cargo of chemicals near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. The US has blamed Iran for the attack but Iran had denied the allegations.