Joint military drill with China ‘likely’

TEHRAN, Nov. 14 (MNA) – Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces has said Iran seeks to improve military relations with China to new strategic levels.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri received Senior Lieutenant General Chang Wanquan, Chinese Minister of Defense on Monday. General Wanquan heads a high-ranking military delegation to Tehran.

The meeting addressed bilateral matters of interest, regional challenges and security situation in the Middle East, and highlighted fighting terrorism as a major threat to international security, along with an equal emphasis upon respecting the stability and sovereignty of legitimate governments.

Bagheri told the meeting that Iran and China had had diplomatic relations during their history and now China is a good friend of the Islamic Republic of Iran; “the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes improving military ties with China, including holding joint military drills with Chinese army,” he added.

Bagheri also hailed ‘constructive role’ China played in international community and reiterated Iran’s official line of policy that hegemonic powers should be curbed in their expansionist policies.

General Wanquan for his part briefly addressed the meeting; “Iran and China have excellent relations, and Iran enjoys strong position in the region, commanding considerable influence over the developments in Middle East; Chinese military is committed to full implementation of military agreements signed with Iran,” he concluded.

SH/3824130 

News Code 121330

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