Sayyari in China to Discuss Defense Ties

Sayyari in China to Discuss Defense TiesSayyari in China to Discuss Defense Ties

Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari is in China to explore ways of promoting Sino-Iran defense cooperation.

Ahead of his visit to China, Sayyari told reporters that the trip is aimed at preparing the ground for all-out cooperation between Iranian and Chinese armed forces, including conducting joint military exercises, setting up training courses, and strengthening bilateral defense relations, the Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.

The navy commander said the trip is upon an official invitation of his Chinese counterpart Admiral Wu Shengli, adding, “We will discuss our technical and technological needs with the other party.”

In recent years Iranian naval forces have sought to expand maritime relations and exchange of expertise with Tehran’s regional allies including Russia and China.  

Last week two Russian warships docked at the Caspian Sea port of Anzali in northern Iran. A year earlier two vessels of the navy made a port call to the Russian city of Astrakhan.

In September, a Chinese fleet of warships anchored in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas for the first time in many years. In 2013, the navy’s 24th fleet, comprised of the Sabalan destroyer and the Khark helicopter carrier, docked at China’s port city of Zhangjiagang. Iranian naval forces and fleets have also increased their presence in international waters as part of missions to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers against sea piracy.