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Top Iranian cmdr.: Iran, Russia agree on expanding naval cooperation

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri talks to reporters after his meeting with Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vice-Admiral Vladimir Lvovich Kasatonov on October 20, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s top military commander says Tehran and Moscow have come to some “good agreements” concerning expansion of the two sides’ naval cooperation. 

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks after meeting with Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vice-Admiral Vladimir Lvovich Kasatonov in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

“At this meeting, we talked about Iran-Russia maritime cooperation, and some good agreements came about,” Baqeri said.

Detailing the issues that were discussed during the meeting, the Iranian general pointed to various aspects of the two sides’ maritime cooperation such as the issue of Iran’s participation in Russia’s maritime drills, each side’s presence in the other’s military competitions, and mutual exchange of operational experiences.

Baqeri said that the two sides also talked about the "meeting of the naval commanders of the Caspian littoral states and cooperation for the common Caspian maritime security, which according to the agreement of the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea should be provided by these countries only, and good agreements were reached."

The Russian official, for his part, hailed the countries’ increasing convergence, and the daily enrichment and betterment of their relations. 

Baqeri arrived in Russia on an official visit on Sunday.

So far during the stay, he has met with the country’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu and his Russian counterpart Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Russia-24 state news channel on Tuesday, Baqeri urged development of the Islamic Republic’s defense ties with the Russian Federation. 

“Overall, it should be stated that Iran and Russia’s relations are deepening further and growing stronger in all areas,” he noted. “In the military and defensive areas too, the relations are governed by very favorable conditions,” he added.

Baqeri traveled to Russia after his visit to Pakistan, where he discussed a range of issues, including defense ties and regional developments with high-ranking Pakistani officials. 

At the end of his visit to Pakistan, Baqeri said Iran and Pakistan have agreed to improve security along common borders and have made great efforts to create border barriers, control border traffic, fight drugs smuggling and human trafficking and combat other factors causing insecurity at borders.

He also noted that Pakistan would attend joint maritime exercises by Iran, Russia and China, which have been held since two years ago.

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