China and Iran have agreed to expand their military cooperation following Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe’s visit to Tehran yesterday, where he held talks with senior Iranian officials including President Ebrahim Raisi.
The deal was announced by the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, who told reporters: “In [Wednesday’s] At a meeting with China’s defense minister, we agreed to expand bilateral cooperation on joint military exercises, strategy sharing, training issues and other common areas between the armed forces of both countries to ensure better security for both countries’ territories. “
Wei said the purpose of the visit is “to improve strategic defense cooperation [between Beijing and Tehran]”. He added that improving relations would provide certainty, “especially in the current critical and tense situation”. According to Raisi, “it is possible to counter unilateralism and establish stability and order through independent and like-minded forces working together. “
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The Chinese minister met with his Iranian counterpart, General Mohammad Reza Ashtinai, who criticized the US military presence in the region and elsewhere. “Wherever the US has had a military presence, it has created waves of insecurity, instability, divisions, pessimism, war, destruction and displacement,” he said.
China and Iran have expanded military ties in recent years amid tensions with the US. In January, both countries, along with Russia, held joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean, the third since 2019.
Last year, China and Iran signed a 25-year cooperation agreement to strengthen economic and political ties. China is also a signatory to the 2015 nuclear deal, which is currently facing deadlocked negotiations aimed at revitalizing it after the US unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
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