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Sunday October 01, 2023

Russian defence chief Shoigu makes Iran visit to deepen ties

By AFP
September 20, 2023

MOSCOW: Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Iran Tuesday for meetings to deepen Moscow´s defence ties with Tehran, Russian news agencies reported. Moscow has sought to strengthen its alliances with other countries ostracised by the West, including Iran, which has been accused of supplying Moscow with armed drones for its offensive in Ukraine.

Tehran denies the allegations. “I consider our meeting as another step towards strengthening the strategic partnership between Russia and Iran,” Shoigu said during a meeting with Iran´s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri.

“Today we have an opportunity to discuss in detail topical issues of bilateral military cooperation,” he was quoted as saying by Russian agencies. “Iran is Russia´s strategic partner in the Middle East,” he added.

Talks involved “development of defence diplomacy” and “management of common threats”, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA. Shoigu´s trip comes during a four-day visit to Moscow from China´s foreign minister and after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un travelled by train to Russia´s Far East for several days.