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Iran, China agree to expand military cooperation: Iranian military chief

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Iran and China have agreed to expand their military cooperation, Iran’s top military commander said on Wednesday during a visit by the Chinese defense minister to Tehran.

China’s Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe met with senior Iranian officials in Tehran, including President Ebrahim Raisi.

“In [Wednesday’s] meeting with the Chinese minister of defense, we agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in joint military drills, exchange of strategies, training issues and other common fields between the two countries’ armed forces so that we can provide better security for the two countries’ territories,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, told reporters in Tehran after meeting with Wei.

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Military ties between Iran and China have deepened in recent years. In January, the two countries, along with Russia, held their third joint naval drills since 2019 in the northern Indian Ocean.

Raisi described Tehran-Beijing ties as “strategic” in his meeting with Wei.

“We pursue these strategic relations [with China] regardless of international developments and based on mutual political trust, and the successful implementation of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement is a priority in this regard,” state news agency IRNA quoted Raisi as saying.

In 2021, Iran and China signed a 25-year cooperation agreement to strengthen economic and political relations.

Wei’s visit to Tehran came as talks between Iran and world powers aimed at reviving the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal, of which China is a signatory, have stalled.

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