September 25, 2023

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China ready to boost military cooperation with Iran: minister

TEHRAN – Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu has expressed China’s readiness for shoring up military cooperation with Iran as member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Speaking at the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), Shangfu pointed out that China is ready to increase security and defense cooperation with Iran and Belarus within the framework of the SCO, Fars News reported. 

“We will continue to strengthen the mechanism of security cooperation within the SCO, actively deepen defense collaboration with the organization’s newest member Iran, as well as Belarus, which will soon become a SCO member,” he said, according to TASS. 

Shangfu added, “Beijing is ready to hold joint military drills and exercises with all countries, as well as find a wider space to hold drills and strengthen international cooperation in the field of arms control and non-proliferation.”

In another part of his speech, Shangfu stated that the cooperation between Russia and China in the military field is not against any third country.

“Sino-Russian relations are entering a new era of continuous development with all-round participation and strategic cooperation. The relationship between China and Russia in the military field is an example of unity and confrontation with hostilities,” the Chinese defense minister said. 

The Army 2023 international military-technical forum is running at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center, the Alabino training ground and the Kubinka airfield outside Moscow on August 14-20.

About 1,500 leading Russian defense enterprises and 85 foreign companies and businesses from seven countries are participating in the forum’s expositions and business program.

An Iranian military delegation arrived in Moscow on Monday to participate in the forum. The military attaché, Reza Khosravi Moghaddam, said the delegation is led by General Aziz Nasirzadeh, the deputy chief of the joint staff of Iran’s armed forces.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, nearly 60 countries have confirmed their participation in this year’s forum. Bilateral meetings between the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces and foreign partners are planned. Foreign delegations will also take part in a robust scientific and business program.

According to the military attaché, the head of the Iranian military delegation is also expected to participate in the 11th International Security Conference in Moscow on Tuesday. 

“The defense and military industries of our country, while being actively present, will display various parts of our country’s military and defense products in front of the Russian participants and more than 60 countries of the world,” Moghaddam said.

Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali also lauded the Moscow exhibition, saying it is a valuable one.

“It is a weighty exhibition in which the Islamic Republic of Iran has a good presence in this exhibition with its many companies. Very good topics were raised in the international security conference,” he told Sputnik. 

He added, “We work with Russia both because of our neighborhood and because of our common approaches to regional and international issues. Currently, our relations in various fields are expanding day by day.”

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