TEHRAN, Nov. 21 (MNA) – Since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution 38 years ago, Beijing has always been Tehran’s economic, political and security partner and has never halted its cooperation with the Islamic Republic.
The growth in the Sino-Iran relations in recent years has been satisfactory and the two countries have always put development of friendly ties at the top of their foreign policy agenda.
During the process of nuclear negotiations between Tehran and 5+1 group of countries, China also played a pivotal role in helping the deal to be signed and a compromise on Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities to be reached.
While the two countries are trying to reinforce mutual defense, military and security cooperation in the new post-sanctions atmosphere, China’s Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan recently traveled to Tehran at the formal invitation of his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan.
It goes without saying that the travel of General Chang to Tehran, which is the first visit of its kind by a Chinese defense minister to Iran, would well serve as evidence to the influential role the Islamic Republic of Iran has in fostering Asia’s defense and security.
Many consider that the visit would open a new chapter in the long-term strategic defense cooperation between the two countries.
While in Iran General Chang, reviews the latest bilateral, regional and international issues
with Iran’s high-ranking political and military officials including President Hassan Rouhani and Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan.
Tehran-Beijing Profound Ties
In a meeting with General Chang, President Rouhani underscored that terrorism and interference of certain powers in domestic affairs of other states are the two serious threats and that Tehran is keen on cooperation with Beijing to help promote regional security.
Emphasizing the need to upgrade Tehran-Beijing ties on the basis of mutual respect and common interests, President Rouhani noted that deepening ties with China as a major country in Asia and Iran’s ancient friend is of higher significance.
President Rouhani said that the Islamic Republic of Iran makes efforts to safeguard regional stability and security and fight against terrorism and that Iran and China should boost cooperation to counter the big threat of terrorism.
President Rouhani highlighted Iran’s existing capacities and the Chinese advances in science and technology, saying that a suitable atmosphere has been created for mutual cooperation in the fields of energy, defense, economy, nuclear and other sectors following the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
General Chang, for his part, said that his country will continue cooperation with Iran as the first regional power on the common goal of regional security and stability.
Evaluating Iran-China relations as excellent, the Chinese minister stated that sense of friendship and amity prevails between the two nations and the two countries’ military officials, adding that Iran is the biggest and most influential Muslim country in the region; therefore fostering mutual cooperation between the two countries is significant.
Mutual MoU on Defensive Military Ties
The defense minister of the two countries also signed an agreement to boost defense-military cooperation and fight terrorism and reviewed issues of mutual interest along with regional and global developments.
Dehghan also emphasized that all countries in Asia and the Oceania shoulder the responsibility to maintain peace and stability adding the development of Iran’s long-term defense-military relations and cooperation with China is among the top priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense diplomacy the two countries’ defense-military cooperation would guarantee regional and international peace and security.
Back in April 2015, the Iranian and Chinese defense ministers, who were in the Russian capital to attend the fourth Moscow International Security Conference, held a meeting and discussed Tehran-Beijing relations as well as the issue of the ISIL Takfiri terrorists and the extent of their activities in East Asia.
Iran-China Joint Military Drills
Meanwhile, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri in a meeting with General Chang voiced Iran readiness to hold joint military drills with China.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is completely ready to expand and deepen defense-military cooperation between the two countries including holding joint military maneuvers,” Baqeri said.
He hailed China’s constructive role in international equations and called on the country to continue with its part in order to counter the hegemony and aggression of the arrogant world powers.
Pointing to the cordial relations between Tehran and Beijing, the Iranian commander stressed the importance of improving strategic cooperation on regional and international developments.
For his part, the Chinese defense minister described the relations between Tehran and Beijing as bright and very promising.
In recent years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.
Without doubt, strengthening of mutual cooperation between Iran and China would assure establishment of peace and stability in the region and across the globe.
Thanks to implementation of the nuclear deal, the Tehran and Beijing should seize the opportunities created in the post-sanctions era to ever expand their relations.
Touching upon the rising trend of extremism, terrorism in the region, it seems that China and Iran need to join hands and expand relations to address such issues.