Iranian destroyer in Persian Gulf (file)
Iranian destroyer in Persian Gulf (file)Reuters

Iranian and Russian warships took part in joint "war games" training exercises on Tuesday in Iranian waters, giving clear expression to the military cooperation between the two states.

Commander of Iran's fleet in the Northern Gilan province Admiral Ahmad Reza Baqeri told Fars News Agency ahead of the war games that the Iranian destroyer Damavand and missile ships Joshan and Peikan took part in the drills, manned by 200 Iranian naval forces members.

From the Russian side, the warships Volgodonsk and Makhachkala which docked in Anzali Port near the Caspian Sea on Sunday took part in the drills. 

After the drills the Russian ships are to depart Iranian waters and head for Azerbaijan, according to Baqeri.

Russian backing has been a key source of support for Iran; late last month a senior Russian official said the advanced S-300 anti-missile system is being upgraded prior to delivery to Iran.

Western pressure has until now delayed the sale of the advanced system, which experts say could prevent an airstrike on Iran's nuclear program, but Russia is showing signs it may transfer the weapon in any case - and Iran is preparing to unveil its own domestic version of the system in early September.

Iran's attempts to expand its influence have seen it increasingly focus on its navy, most notably in a major naval drill last December. It has shown a hostile stance against American ships, and in early May fired upon and seized a foreign cargo ship in international shipping lanes.

The military buildup and aggression of the world's leading state sponsor of terror comes as the controversial Iran nuclear deal is being studied by Congress, and even as the Islamic regime continues to threaten Israel with "annihilation."