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Russia’s defense chief says broader Iran ties to ensure international security

January 20, 2015, 11:12 UTC+3 TEHRAN

The Russian defense minister said Russia and Iran have common challenges and threats in the region which may be countered only by joint efforts

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© AP Photo/Ronald Zak

TEHRAN, January 20. /TASS/. The development of constructive relations between Russia and Tehran is an “important factor of ensuring international security and global stability,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at talks with his Iranian counterpart on Tuesday.

“We call for a long-term and multi-faceted cooperation with Tehran. We welcome the Iranian leadership’s drive for the comprehensive extension of ties with Russia, among other things in the defense sphere,” Shoigu told Hossein Dehghan.

The Russian defense minister, who arrived in Tehran for a two-day official visit on Monday, said Russia and Iran have common challenges and threats in the region which may be countered only by joint efforts.

Shoigu said his last year’s meeting with the Iranian counterpart in Moscow helped to lay the foundation for boosting bilateral military and technical cooperation. He called for focusing on strengthening its legal basis.

“The signing of the Russian-Iranian agreement on military cooperation will become an important step in this direction,” Shoigu said.

He also proposed discussing the prospects of bilateral cooperation as part of the document and priority practical steps which the sides are due to take already in the near future.

The minister also praised Iran’s efforts in the fight against global terrorism.

“We welcome Tehran’s wish for fair cooperation on Afghanistan including in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),” Shoigu said, adding that Tehran has taken serious steps towards counteracting drug trafficking from Afghanistan’s territory.

In this context, “the cooperation of military agencies of Russia and Iran is becoming of a special importance,” he said.

Shoigu has thanked his Iranian counterpart for the invitation to visit Tehran, saying this is the first visit to Iran paid by Russia’s defence minister over the past 15 years.

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