© FILE PHOTO: Hossein Zohrevand / Reuters
Iranian and Chinese Naval forces are participating in joint drills in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. The naval maneuvers come amid growing tensions between the US and Iran, as Washington prepares a new round of sanctions against Tehran.

A total of four vessels and two helicopters displayed their military capabilities on Sunday during a day of joint exercises in the strait connecting the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.

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The Chinese fleet, which includes the Chang Chun guided-missile destroyer, the Chao Hu replenishment ship, the Jin Zhou frigate, and a helicopter, arrived in the Iranian southern port of Bandar Abbas on Thursday. An Iranian destroyer and a helicopter joined them for the drills.

The exercises, which had been planned in advance, are aimed at promoting interaction and strengthening confidence between the navies of the two nations, according to Rear Admiral Shen Hao, Commander of China Navy Task Force Group 150, as cited by Iran's IRNA news agency.