China Wants Closer Defense Ties

China Wants Closer Defense Ties
China Wants Closer Defense Ties

China wants to deepen military ties with Iran, a senior Chinese admiral said after a meeting with Defense Minister Lieutenant General Hossein Dehqan in Tehran on Thursday.

Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, told Dehghan that Beijing pays great attention to developing relations with Tehran, Reuters quoted China's Defense Ministry as saying in a statement.

"The aim of this delegation's visit is to further promote friendship, deepen cooperation and exchange views with Iran on bilateral military ties and issues of mutual concern," Sun said, according to the statement.

The trip will also "promote the preservation of international and regional peace and stability", he added.

China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties, and China was active in pushing both the US and Iran to conclude the July nuclear deal, which will place temporary restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions.

Sun said that China, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, was pleased that an agreement had been reached.

Last year, for the first time ever, two Chinese warships docked at Iran's Bandar Abbas port to take part in joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and an Iranian admiral was given tours of a Chinese submarine and warships.