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Iran, China discuss military cooperation; Beijing backs Tehran's 'legitimate' strikes against Israel

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani (R) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun during a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, on April 26, 2024. (Photo by Iran's Defense Ministry)

Iran and China's defense chiefs discussed ways to enhance military cooperation, also conferring on regional issues. 

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani met with his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun on the sidelines of the 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Defense Ministers in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Friday.

Ashtiani hailed China's stance on the ongoing developments in the region and its condemnation of Israel's terrorist airstrike against Iran's diplomatic premise in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier this month.

It is necessary for Iran and China to boost cooperation and convergence to solve security issues in the region and across the world, the Iranian defense chief said.

On April 1, the Israeli regime carried out terrorist airstrikes on the consular section of Iran's embassy in the Syrian capital, which killed two generals of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, as well as five of their accompanying officers.

In retaliation, the IRGC targeted the occupied territories on April 13 with a barrage of drones and missiles. The retaliatory strikes, dubbed Operation True Promise, inflicted damage on Israeli military bases across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Following the reprisal, Iran warned Israel against taking any retaliatory actions and also urged the US to try not to involve itself in the conflict and signaled that it viewed the matter as “concluded.”

China supports Iran's retaliatory airstrikes against Israel: Dong

The Chinese defense minister, for his part, slammed Israel's attack on Iran's diplomatic premises in Syria, which he said violated international law.

China supports Iran's legitimate right to respond to Israel, Dong added.

He invited his Iranian counterpart to take part in a security conference in Beijing and urged for enhanced bilateral cooperation in defense and military arenas. 

The Chinese defense chief called for an immediate ceasefire in the war-stricken Gaza Strip and the delivery of humanitarian aid there.

At least 34,356 Palestinians, mostly children and women, have been killed and 77,368 people wounded in the war that Israel began on October 7 following a retaliatory operation by the Palestinian territory’s resistance movements.

The brutal military onslaught enjoys unreserved military and political support on the part of the Israeli regime’s Western allies, including the United States and France.

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