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Iran and Russia Vow To 'Deepen And Expand' Military Cooperation

Ghasem Taghizadeh, Iran's deputy minister of defense. File photo

Iran’s deputy defense minister says the Islamic Republic is prepared for "deepening and expanding defensive and military” cooperation with Russia in all domains.

Brigadier General Ghassem Taghizadeh also lauded the "strategic cooperation" between Tehran and Moscow in what he described as "the war on terrorism" and a successful model of settling regional conflicts.

Taghizadeh was speaking to reporters after meeting Deputy Chief of the Russian Army General Staff Vice-Admiral Igor Osipov in Tehran on Wednesday, December 26.

Referring to Tehran-Moscow 2015 agreement on military cooperation, Taghizadeh reiterated that the Islamic Republic is prepared to "deepen and expand its military and defensive cooperation" in all domains with Russia.

Osipov, for his part, delivered a report on Tehran-Moscow military cooperation in various fields, insisting that "expanding, deepening and strengthening the constructive relations” between Iran and the Russian Federation is an important factor in providing security for the "region and the world".

Tehran and Moscow are cooperating with each other in Syria and fight side by side against Bashar al-Assad's opponents in the war-torn country.

While in Tehran, Osipov also met the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander for Coordination, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi on the same day.

During the meeting, the two sides underlined the need for the further broadening of Tehran-Moscow cooperation, especially in military fields, “in accordance with the requirements of the regional security conditions and interventions of foreign and trans-regional states”, IRGC-run Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.

Fadavi and Osipov underlined that the defeat of the "Takfiri terrorism" in Syria has been the "product of the strategic cooperation" between the two countries' armed.

The two also exchanged views on the enhancement of cooperation in security, industrial, research and training fields.

Earlier on Tuesday, Osipov, who arrived in Tehran on Monday, had a meeting with Iranian Army Naval Forces Chief Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzad in Tehran.

"The cooperation between the naval forces of Iran and Russia will be expanded in the future," Khanzadi told reporters immediately after the meeting with his Russian guest.

The Islamic Republic's military commanders have repeatedly emphasized the necessity of expanding Iran's military cooperation with Russia.

Nevertheless, several Iranian military and political analysts, including Radio Farda’s Hossein Aryan, have also repeatedly cautioned Tehran for its closer ties with Moscow, asserting, "Russia has never been a reliable partner for Iran, and Moscow has always been adjusting his relations with Tehran merely on the basis of its interests and according to circumstances."

Aryan, believes that Russia is gradually distancing itself from Iran and leaving it all alone by itself.

"One of the reasons for it," Aryan has argued in an analysis for Radio Farda, "is the recent developments in the Middle East and Moscow-Washington relations. One of the main goals of the Iranian and Russian intervention in Syria was strengthening Bashar al-Assad’s position. As the goal has almost been achieved, Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking his other goals in the Middle East."

Nonetheless, the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his allies have always promoted closer ties with Moscow.

Receiving Putin on September 7 in Tehran, Khamenei had called for expanding cooperation between Iran and Russia to "contain the U.S.A." and proposed economic deals based on currencies other than the dollar.

Putin did not echo these comments and not much has happened on the economic front.

In the meantime, the Russian leader has insisted that all foreign forces, including Iran's and its Lebanese Hezbollah allies', should leave Syria immediately after the establishment of order and security in the war-ravaged country.