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Iran hints defense exports to Venezuela, other nations with ‘no restrictions’

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani

Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani says Iran “has no restriction” on exporting military equipment to other countries, including Venezuela.

The Islamic Republic will help any country that remains committed to international peace, Ashtiani told Tasnim news agency on Sunday, when asked about Iran’s military and defense cooperation with Venezuela and the possibility of exporting Iranian equipment to the Latin American country.

“We have no restriction on supplying equipment to [other] countries. We are in contact with all states and keep this contact with might,” he said.

“We will definitely help any country that is committed to international interests, security and peace, and that considers global common security.”

He also noted that the Defense Ministry, which is in charge of the joint economic commission between the two countries, makes necessary coordination in different fields, among them the security and defense ones.

Last June, Iran and Venezuela signed a 20-year partnership agreement to expand ties in various sectors such as the military.

Reports on Iran buying Su-35 ‘mostly speculations’

Elsewhere in his interview, the defense minister was asked about reports on Iran’s purchase of Sukhoi-35 fighter jets from Russia and their possible shipment in the near future.

“We are a manufacturer ourselves and work in the aviation industry regarding fighters, as well as transport and training aircraft…, but if we feel the need concerning our defense power, we try to get technological facilities or equipment from any country that possesses them,” he said.

“The discussions about the Su-35 fighters are mostly speculations,” Ashtiani added, emphasizing that some deals may yield a result years after their signing.

He also asserted that there is no ban on Iran for buying defense equipment.

Last September, Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Force Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi said the force has no plans to buy Su-30, but it has rather put on its agenda the purchase of Su-35 fighters.

In January, Iranian lawmaker Shahriar Heidari said that the Su-35 jets were to arrive in the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21.

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