The ongoing drill, named "Marine Security Belt 2024," involves Chinese vessels, including the Urumqi guided-missile destroyer and the Linyi guided-missile frigate, as well as Russia's Varyag, a Slava-class cruiser.

Over 20 ships, support vessels, combat boats, and naval helicopters from the three nations are participating in the exercise. The drill, covering an area of 17,000 square kilometers (6,600 square miles), aims to enhance trade, combat piracy and terrorism, support humanitarian activities, and exchange information for rescue operations.

This marks the fourth joint naval drill for China, Iran, and Russia since 2019. Iran, in particular, has increased military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow amid tensions with the United States, including supplying military drones to Russia for its conflict in Ukraine.

Observing the drill are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Oman, Pakistan, and South Africa. The Gulf of Oman has experienced a series of attacks since 2019, with the U.S. attributing them to Iran.

The region has also witnessed ship seizures by Tehran following the collapse of its nuclear deal with world powers.