Russian Defense Chief: Moscow-Tehran Ties Hitting New Highs Despite Western Sanctions
TEHRAN (FNA)- The relations between Moscow and Tehran is reaching "new highs", Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday during a visit to Iran.
Shoigu arrived in Tehran on Tuesday upon an official invitation by the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri for meetings with the Iranian military leadership. The trip is aimed at strengthening Russian-Iranian cooperation, according to Moscow.
Speaking during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani in Tehran on Wednesday, Shoigu stated Russia and Iran are determined to undertake planned activities despite opposition from the US and its Western allies.
“The pressure of sanctions on Russia and Iran is proving to be futile, while Russia-Iran cooperation is reaching new highs,” he added.
The Russian defense chief further expressed his satisfaction with the enhanced Russia-Iran dialogue that resulted from the trust-based relationship between the leaders of the two countries.
“The high intensity of meetings confirms our common determination to continue boosting the strategic defense partnership,” he noted.
Shoigu also announced Russia’s readiness “to take further joint steps [with Iran] to strengthen stability and security in the Middle East".
Ashtiani, for his part, said that Iran-Russia collaboration in regional and international arenas can guarantee the interests and security of both states.
“The defense and military cooperation between the two countries has always been pursued with the support of high-ranking leaders in a bid to strengthen and consolidate stability and security in the region and the international system,” he noted.
“Dealing with common challenges, including the US unilateralism, is one of the important and strategic issues regarding the joint cooperation,” the minister underscored.
Ashtiani described as successful bilateral cooperation in the counter-terrorism fight in West Asia, adding military and defense ties will definitely continue within the framework of international peace and security.
The Iranian defense minister also expressed his opposition to the presence of trans-regional forces in West Asia.
“Preserving the territorial integrity of regional countries and international borders is among the red lines of the Islamic Republic," Ashtiani underlined.
Also on Wednesday, Shoigu visited an exhibition organised by Iran’s aerospace forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Tehran.
“During the show, Sergey Shoigu got acquainted with missile weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] as well as Iranian-made air defence systems,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.
“In particular, tactical missile systems were demonstrated as well as long- and medium-range ballistic missiles. In addition, the exhibition includes captured American-made UAVs,” the ministry added.
Upon his arrival on Tuesday, Shoigu met with Baqeri. The Iranian military chief stated during the meeting that Tehran and Moscow are working to draw up a long-term military cooperation agreement in the near future.
Since Tehran and Moscow enjoy common interests in economic, military and security affairs as well as friendly relationship pursue common policies on regional and international developments especially when it comes to taking stances in the face of the United States’ unilateral and interventionist strategies.
Iranian officials say Tehran and Moscow, both subjected to tough economic sanctions by the Western countries, are determined to deepen their economic and military cooperation.
Iran and Russia have grown exchane of visits by officials to speed up expansion of relations in recent years.