Iran seeks closer cooperation with Chinese military

TEHRAN, Iran –

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday expressed the government’s desire for closer cooperation with China in remarks made during a visit by China’s defense minister, state media reported.

According to the report, Raisi told Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe that Tehran considers its relationship with Beijing strategic. Closer cooperation will help confront what the Iranian president has described as US unilateralism as talks to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers have stalled.

“Confronting unilateralism and creating stability and order is possible through the cooperation of independent and like-minded powers,” Raisi was quoted as saying.

In contrast, Wei said improving relations between Iran and China would bring security “especially in the current tense and critical situation.”

Wei also met his Iranian counterpart, General Mohammad Reza Ashtinai, and is said to have invited him to visit China, as well as with other Iranian military officials.

The IRNA news agency quoted Ashtiani as saying that “wherever the US has a military presence, there are waves of insecurity, instability, rifts, pessimism, war, destruction and displacement. “.

Mr. Wei said his visit was aimed at “improving strategic defense cooperation” between Iran and China – cooperation that he said would have a “significant” impact in easing unilateralism. and counter terrorism.

Iran and China have strengthened their military ties in recent years, with their navies visiting each other’s ports and holding joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean.

In 2021, Iran and China signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement covering a wide range of economic activities from oil and mining to promoting industrial activity in Iran, as well as cooperation in transportation. loading and agriculture.

China is a signatory to the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, along with Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

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