Iran, China Sign Defense Deal

Iran, China Sign Defense DealIran, China Sign Defense Deal

Iranian and Chinese defense chiefs signed a defense agreement in Tehran on Monday, a sign of strengthening alignment between the two militaries in the chaotic West Asia.

Expansion of defense-military collaboration, exchange of military experiences, particularly regarding training and coordination of a serious battle against terrorism and factors contributing to insecurity in the region are included in the agreement, Fars News Agency reported.

It was signed by China's Chang Wanquan and Iran's Hossein Dehqan, the heads of the two military delegations, at the end of a meeting to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as regional and international affairs. Speaking in the meeting, Dehqan, who is a defense minister, said Iran-China defense cooperation guarantees "regional and global peace and security".

"Enhancement of cooperation with China is a top priority for the Islamic Republic's defense diplomacy," he said, pointing to January's visit to Tehran by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the two countries promised to boost defense collaboration, including broader exchange of "equipment and technology."

The Iranian defense minister said the spread of terrorism, a scourge that has plagued West Asia for years, has created a tough global challenge. "Foreign interference and disrespect for national sovereignty of countries has turned the region into a hotbed of conflict and insecurity, resulting in spread of terrorism around the world," he said.

Dehqan said the menace, which is now spreading to Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and other regions, should be countered through "honest and effective cooperation" among states that are under threat. "The Islamic Republic of Iran, equipped with extensive experience of fighting terrorism in recent years, announces its readiness to create a collective movement to deal with this threat," he said. "It believes that China can play a very important role in this regard."

  Common Interests

Chang said common interests and understanding of various regional and global issues have paved the way for the development of military cooperation between the two countries.

The Chinese minister expressed hope the defense agreement would deepen bonds of friendship between the two countries and that his visit would open a new chapter in their military partnership.

He arrived in Tehran on Sunday for an official three-day visit, in response to a 2014 visit to China by Dehqan.

The top defense officials also discussed defense relations in Russia in April, during the fourth Moscow International Security Conference. In another development regarding the defense sector, RIA news agency reported on Monday that Russia and Iran are in talks over an arms deal worth around $10 billion that would see Moscow deliver T-90 tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters to Tehran.

The report quoted Viktor Ozerov, the head of Defense and Security Committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, as saying that talks on the potential deal were underway during a parliamentary visit to Iran.


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