In a new move for closer relations the head of the Iranian army, Major-General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, arrived in Moscow on Sunday (October 17th) for an official visit of several days. A series of meetings with Russian military leaders took place. This trip is the first to take place after the start of the process of accepting Iran into the SCO.
Gerasimov – Baqeri meeting
Monday’s meeting (October 18) was between Baqeri and General Valeri Gerasimov, the chief of staff of the Russian armed forces. Both expressed the wishes of the countries they represent for military relations to be further developed. Gerasimov described Iran as “a close partner of Russia” and Baqeri said that “military and defense relations have grown remarkably in recent years and we hope that this trend will continue.”
Among the topics discussed on Monday there was included the fight against terrorism, particularly in Syria and Iraq. The fact that both Russia and Iran are on the same side in Syria has greatly contributed to the development of military cooperation, both in support of President Assad and in the fight against Daesh (Islamic State). In a press conference, the Iranian general stated that the current administration of his country attaches special importance to “the East and the countries of the East”.
Shoigu – Baqeri meeting
On Tuesday, October 19, Baqeri met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who actually invited him to Moscow. Among the topics of discussion was the desire of the Iranians to buy military equipment, specifying in particular fighter jets and training planes.
The desire of the Iranians to buy new planes either from the Russians or from the Chinese (or both) has been discussed for a long time. The public display of the new Sukhoi Su-75 “Checkmate” made the prospect of a contract between Tehran and Moscow almost certain.
Initiated and strengthened through field and high-level cooperation in Syria, the Russian-Iranian strategic link will continue to develop by addressing the situation in Afghanistan. Both states are making efforts to stabilize and prevent a possible expansion of the Islamic State in that country but also to limit the number of Afghan refugees.
Our relationships are developing very dynamically and are versatile, which can be vividly demonstrated by our large-scale joint fight against international terrorism. We are ready to continue making every effort to keep the pace of developing our relationships.Sergei Shoigu
This trip is taking place at the beginning of the thirteenth administration, and Mr. Raisi’s administration has a specific look to the East and Asian countries, and also the membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Shanghai Pact is an important event, and certainly the cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia will be further developed in this regardMohammad Hossein Baqeri