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Tehran Prepares to Expand Military Cooperation with Moscow

Tehran Prepares to Expand Military Cooperation with Moscow

Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 10:00
Iranian Military Chief of Staff General Mohammad Bagheri (Reuters)

Iranian Chief of Staff General Mohammad Bagheri, who is on a visit to Moscow, pointed to his country’s intention to revive military cooperation with Russia as soon as the restrictions imposed by the UN Security Council are lifted.

Bagheri held on Tuesday an expanded round of talks with his Russian counterpart, Valery Gerasimov, focusing on military cooperation.

The four-day visit, which began on Sunday, included several meetings with the officials of the Russian military command, including a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu.

Bagheri said that his talks in Moscow were aimed at activating military cooperation between Iran and Russia, setting the stage for major military agreements, enhancing bilateral coordination in Syria and discussing other regional issues.

Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Abdollahian visited Moscow to coordinate on regional affairs.

Explaining the nature of the discussions on arms contracts, Bagheri wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday that he was seeking to activate previous deals for the purchase of fighters and jet aircraft used for training purposes.

However, Russian experts noted that the first problem that Moscow would face in any future military cooperation with Tehran was “the full loss of confidence in the Iranian partner.”

A Russian military analyst wrote that recent developments in Iran were not encouraging.

He said Iranian “attempts to intimidate Ankara and Baku with military maneuvers have yielded nothing, because (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan and (Azerbaijan’s President Ilham) Aliyev understand that the Iranians alone will not dare to solve the problem in the South Caucasus region by force.”

The analyst added: “The developments in Iraq are also very sad for the Iranians. The main pro-Iranian party has suffered a major defeat, as its representation in Parliament has been reduced almost three times.”

In an article published in a Russian federal newspaper, an expert pointed to “subjective and objective reasons” for Russia’s lack of trust in Tehran’s behavior.

“One of the subjective reasons is that the Iranian leadership - after the lifting of sanctions during the era of (US President Barack) Obama and in recognition of Moscow’s support over many years - immediately canceled most of the contracts with Russian manufacturers and awarded them to Western companies,” the expert underlined.

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