Iran ready to boost defense ties with Azerbaijan: Dehqan
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says the Islamic Republic is ready to broaden defense ties with Azerbaijan and supply the country with required defense equipment.
In a meeting with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on Monday, Dehqan said Azerbaijan enjoys a special position in Iran’s foreign policy and defense diplomacy, noting that the two countries are potentially able to strengthen defense and military cooperation.
“The two countries enjoy common geopolitics and their common interests and threats have increased the necessity for the expansion of multilateral cooperation more than ever,” the Iranian minister added.
He emphasized that the US and Israeli regime’s support for the Saudi military aggression against Yemen has been in line with Washington’s strategy to impose security and geopolitical bottlenecks on regional countries. He said this policy has “further complicated and aggravated” the situation in the Middle East.
Dehqan added that Muslim countries’ support for Tehran’s four-point peace plan submitted to the UN on the ongoing crisis in Yemen would lead to restoration of ceasefire, dispatch of humanitarian aid, Yemeni-Yemeni talks, and an end to the bloodshed in the impoverished Arab country.
Saudi Arabia started its air campaign against Yemen on March 26, without a United Nations mandate, in a bid to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
According to reports, over 2,600 people, including women and children, have so far lost their lives in the attacks.
Dehqan also warned against Takfiri terrorists’ plans to extend their influence to Central Asia and Caucasus, saying, “Regional countries’ efforts to firmly cooperate and interact with the purpose of countering terrorism can prevent their [Takfiris] influence and boost security in the region.”
Emphasizing that Caspian Sea should not turn into a region for arms race, the defense minister said, “All issues pertaining to the Caspian Sea can be settled only by the littoral states and through negotiations and peaceful ways.”
The Azeri president, for his part, said his country fully supports the expansion of defense and military ties with Iran.
Azerbaijan has always supported Iran’s stance, particularly on the nuclear issue, and believes that nothing can change Baku’s position, Aliyev added.
He said Tehran and Baku share stances on the importance of battling Takfiri and terrorist groups and urged regional countries to make efforts to counter the threat of terrorism and establish security, peace and stability.