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Anti-Western Axis of China, Russia and Iran Forging Closer Ties Amid Growing Tensions in the Middle East 

As tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, China, Russia, and Iran conducted joint naval drills in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea between March 11 and March 15, 2024. The exercise, under the name “Maritime Security Belt – 2024”, was described as a joint effort to safeguard maritime security and regional peace and stability. However, against the backdrop of the US and some  EU countries’ unprecedented naval presence in the Red Sea, the drills can also be seen as sending a clear signal to the West and as a part of a longer-term pattern of boosting the trio’s mutual cooperation.