Russia has offered to ‘join forces’ with China regarding naval security in the Persian Gulf, as Iran continues to make threats against shipping in the vital waterway. While unlikely that Chinese or Russian ships would be targeted by Tehran, the pact is actually a show of force to NATO, US, and EU naval forces in the region.
“We welcome the Russian initiative,” she said. “We would also like to boost cooperation, coordination and communication with all the corresponding parties,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing on Thursday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
The spokesperson also stressed that “peace and stability in the Persian Gulf region are of utmost importance to ensure safety and development of the region and the world as a whole.” “We believe that to ensure stability and safety in the region it is vital to establish good neighborly relations based on mutual respect,” Hua Chunying underlined.
Moscow put forward an initiative to establish demilitarized zones in the region and proposed rejecting the permanent deployment of squads of non-regional states and establishing hot lines between the military.
Russia has been a key ally of Iran in stabilizing the Assad regime in Syria; Iran is also a key customer for Russian arms manufacturers, as well as the nuclear power industry.
The termination of the JCPOA, or the ‘Iran deal’, by the Trump administration has severely hampered Tehran’s ability to fund such deals, and along with American oil sanctions and restrictions on other parts of the Iranian economy, has made Iran much less of a financial partner to Russian strategic goals.
However, preventing Western control of the Persian Gulf is high on the agenda for Beijing and the Kremlin.