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Russia-Iran cooperation 'advanced to new level' - Minister

September 20, 2023 at 3:17 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in Moscow, Russia on February 14, 2022 [KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE/Anadolu Agency]

Russian Defence Minister, Sergey Shoygu, said on Wednesday that cooperation between Moscow and Tehran has advanced to a new level, Anadolu Agency reports.

The US and its allies attempted but failed to derail the process of cordial Russian-Iranian relations, Shoygu said during a meeting with Iranian Defence Minister, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, in Tehran.

“We are aimed at implementing the entire range of planned activities, despite opposition from the United States and its Western allies. We are pleased to note that the Russian-Iranian dialogue is developing particularly intensively today,” he said.

The Minister expressed readiness to continue working with Iran to strengthen security and stability in the Middle East and suggested discussing “several issues of mutual interest”.

Ashtiani, for his part, said defence and military cooperation between Tehran and Moscow “has always been supported by the top leadership” to bolster security and stability in the region.

Iran and Russia are working on a long-term military cooperation agreement that will take effect in the near future, the Iranian Defence Minister said.

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Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, believes that long-term cooperation between the two countries “is in the interest of both nations”, he added.

Ashtiani underlined the importance of mutual cooperation between Iran and Russia in dealing with

common challenges, including the unilateralism of the US

He said the rise of regional organisations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS are “signs of the desire of the world countries for a multi-polar system.”

The top military official said that maintaining the territorial integrity of regional countries and international borders is “one of the red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, adding that the 3+3 format can “peacefully solve problems” in the Caucasus region.

Commenting on the refusal of the UK, France and Germany to revoke sanctions on Iran over its missile program, Ashtiani said the move was a “clear violation of Europe’s obligations” under the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Tehran, the Russian Defence Minister attended an exhibition of the Aerospace Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Ministry said in a separate statement.

Shoygu was shown missile weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and Iranian-made air defence equipment, it noted.

The IRGC exhibition showcases achievements of Iran’s aerospace industry, including the latest models of drones, missiles and tactical missile systems, as well as long- and medium-range ballistic missiles and captured American-made drones.

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