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Iranian Defense Minister in Moscow, Hails ‘Progressive’ Military Ties with Russia

Iranian Defense Minister in Moscow, Hails ‘Progressive’ Military Ties with Russia
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami praised bilateral military relations with Russia, expressing Tehran’s keenness to hold joint drills with Moscow and Beijing.

Hatami made the remarks upon arrival in the Russian capital on Saturday at the head of a high-ranking military delegation for a visit upon an official invitation by Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu. The visit comes as a United Nations’ arms embargo on Iran is about to expire in October.

Asked about his evaluation of Tehran-Moscow defense cooperation, Hatami said “The military cooperation between Iran and Russia is completely progressive and we have passed important phases in cooperation between the two countries.”

Although the coronavirus outbreak has affected bilateral ties to some extent this year, Hatami’s overall assessment was that “the cooperation between the two countries is quite positive and progressive.”

He further referred to joint military exercises between Iran, Russia and China which were held north of the Indian Ocean and the Oman Sea in December 2019.

Asked about the possibility of more trilateral war games, Hatami stressed that Iran is interested in holding drills based on the situation created by the coronavirus and the health protocols that exist.

Elsewhere in his comments, Hatami outlined his plans during the trip, among them a visit to the sixth International Military and Technical Forum “Army-2020” and talks with Russian officials on regional and bilateral issues as well as military and technological cooperation.

“This trip is a great opportunity for us given that Russia is a friendly country, with which cooperation is increasing,” he added.