The joint drills of the Chinese Navy and the Iranian Fleet are kicking off on Sunday, Mehr news agency reported.

The Chinese Navy Fleet set to participate in the war games comprises the Chang Chun guided-missile destroyer, the Chao Hu replenishment ship, the Jin Zhou frigate and a helicopter.The Chinese ships arrived at a Iranian port on Thursday.

The drills in the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman are aimed to “strengthen friendly relations between Tehran and Beijing as well as to promote maritime collaborations,” Mehr reported.

The Strait of Hormuz accounts for almost one-third of the world’s oil trade sea passages.

On June 13, Iranian ships directed a laser at a US Super Stallion helicopter flying over the Strait of Hormuz.In May, the country test-fired a high speed torpedo near the Strait of Hormuz.

The drills come amid a diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off relations with Qatar on June 5 and stopped all communication with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Later, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Mauritania also announced the severance of diplomatic relations. Jordan and Djibouti reduced the level of their diplomatic missions in Qatar. Senegal, Niger and Chad summoned their ambassadors.

Sputnik