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Russia and Iran confirm bid to expand military cooperation in memorandum of understanding

The sides may shortly hold a joint naval exercise in the area of the Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN, July 29./TASS/. The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding with an aim to expend bilateral ties, Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Iranian Navy Commander Hossein Khanzadi as saying on Monday.

The top military said the document had been signed during his trip to Russia. "This is the first memorandum of understanding of this kind, and it may be considered as a turning point in relations of Tehran in Moscow along the defense trajectory," Khanzadi said.

Russia and Iran may shortly hold a joint naval exercise in the area of the Strait of Hormuz, the Iranian navy commander told IRNA news agency earlier on Monday.

"A joint Russian-Iranian exercise is expected to be held shortly in the Indian Ocean. The exercise may also be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, including in the Strait of Hormuz," the naval commander said.

He also said Russia and Iran were engaged in negotiations on strengthening defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea.

Navy Commander Hossein Khanzadi arrived in St. Petersburg late on July 27 for a three-day visit to attend festivities marking Russia’s Navy Day and discuss the development of maritime cooperation with Russian partners.