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Iran, Russia working on long-term military cooperation pact: Top General

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri (R) meets with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Tehran, Iran, on September 19, 2023. (Photo by DEFA Press news agency)

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces says Tehran and Moscow are working to draw up a long-term military cooperation agreement in the near future as the world moves towards an increasingly multipolar order.

During a meeting with visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Tehran on Tuesday evening, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri stressed the need for enhancement of ties between the two neighboring countries.

“The Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] believes that long-term cooperation between Iran and Russia is in the interest of both nations and for that reason, a document is being drawn up in this regard,” Baqeri said.

“The document has laid strong emphasis on military and defense issues and can serve as a suitable platform for the development of long-term cooperation between the two countries.

“Despite increased mutual relations in recent years, we believe there are still untapped potentials for the promotion of relations between the two countries. More efforts need to be devoted to the improvement of the ties to the desired level,” he added.

Baqeri said Iranian and Russian military institutions are among the pioneers in the promotion of relations between the two countries, stating that joint military and defense commissions can certainly accelerate such a process.

The current level of naval cooperation between Iran and Russia is favorable, he said, adding that the forthcoming joint naval drills, scheduled for next February, provide an opportunity to improve the level of defense and military relations between the two countries.

Baqeri also said that unfolding developments around the world indicate that the era of unipolarity has come to an end and now multiple contenders are capable of shaping the world order.

He highlighted that Tehran and Moscow hold the same opinion that the current world order is transforming into a multipolar one, and the trend is gaining momentum.

For his part, Shoigu underscored that his visit to Tehran is meant to enhance defense cooperation in the areas of common interest.

He emphasized the need for cooperation in training, exchange of cadets as well as staging joint military exercises.

The two top-brass military officials also voiced their respective countries’ readiness to settle simmering tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Iran and Russia, as two close and strategic allies, have over the past years deepened their relations in various fields, including military and defense, despite being under heavy Western sanctions.

Last month, Iran’s domestically manufactured Ababil ballistic missile was for the first time put on display at a military exhibition in Russia, alongside a range of other cutting-edge Iranian military equipment, including drones and electronic warfare systems.

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