Welcoming Beijing’s Defense Minister, Tehran called for a strategic partnership to create order and stability
Iran sees its relations with China as part of an effort by like-minded powers to confront US unilateralism and create stability and order, President Ebrahim Raisi told Beijing Defense Secretary Wei Fenghe on Wednesday.
Raisi said the successful implementation of the 25-year strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries, signed in 2021, was a priority for Tehran, according to state media.
Countering unilateralism and creating stability and order is possible through the cooperation of independent and like-minded powers. Raisi was quoted by the IRNA news agency. He added that the current “Regional and global developments demonstrate more than ever the value of strategic cooperation between Iran and China.”
Wei said his visit was aimed at… “improving strategic defense cooperation” between Tehran and Beijing, what a “remarkable” impact on countering terrorism and disabling unilateralism, “certainly in the current critical and tense situation.”
Wei also met Iran’s defense minister, General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, and reportedly invited him to visit China. During their meeting, Ashtiani emphasized: “the need to counter American hegemony in the world by strengthening multilateralism”, according to a statement from the Iranian Defense Ministry.
Ashtiani also criticized the US military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere, saying that: “Wherever the US has had a military presence, it has created waves of uncertainty, instability, rifts, pessimism, war, destruction and displacement.” according to IRNA.
Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, also met with the Chinese visitor and gave some details about the shape of their cooperation going forward.
“We have agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in joint military exercises, exchange of strategies, training issues and other common fields between the armed forces of the two countries so that we can provide the two countries with better security,” Bagheri told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday.
The 2021 strategic cooperation treaty has paved the way for military cooperation between Iran and China, as well as for a variety of economic activities ranging from oil trade to transportation and agriculture.
Iran has been under unilateral US sanctions since 2018, when the Trump administration rejected the 2015 nuclear deal. China is a signatory to the original pact, along with the UK, France, Germany and Russia. The current US administration has said it wants to restore the agreement, but talks have stalled over Washington’s refusal to lift sanctions against Tehran.