TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran to Hold Joint Drills With Russia, China in Persian Gulf. Iran, Russia and China will hold joint maritime drills in the Persian Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022, Moscow’s ambassador to Tehran has said, the RIA news agency reported on Monday.
The exercises involving naval vessels from the three countries will be focused on shipping security and combating piracy, Levan Dzhagaryan was quoted as saying.
In an interview with Sputnik, Ambassador Dzhagaryan also said following the lifting of the UN arms embargo on Iran, Moscow and Tehran plan to engage in a constructive dialogue on an entire range of military products.
“Our defense cooperation with Iran has a rather long history of over 50 years. It is being developed on a mutually beneficial basis, with Russia’s strict compliance with its international obligations in the arms trade area. Taking into account the lifting of restrictions, the Russian side is engaged in a constructive dialogue with Iranian partners on the entire range of military products,” Dzhagaryan stated.
He also said that Moscow and Tehran are interested in boosting the bilateral energy cooperation and see potential for it, ministries are already conducting relevant negotiations.
“The Russian-Iranian energy cooperation is developing successfully. At the same time, there is still a great potential for further growth. Relevant ministries and companies of the two countries are interested in launching projects to expand the engagement of Russian economic operators,” Dzhagaryan said.
Russia and Iran maintain dialogue “on the whole range of bilateral and international issues, including energy issues,” the diplomat added.
“In July, the OPEC + monitoring committee held a meeting. The Russian side highly appreciated Iran’s support for [oil production cuts] deal extension. The Islamic Republic is one of the key members of the OPEC. It seems that the OPEC understands how important it is to agree on future steps within cartel after the lifting of the US sanctions on Iran,” Dzhagaryan noted.
He also said Moscow hopes to receive proposals from Iran on a new comprehensive cooperation agreement in the near future.
The agreement outlining the basic principles of the bilateral relations was signed on March 12, 2001, and automatically extended for five years earlier in 2021, the diplomat recalled.
“The Iranian side expressed a desire to update this deal, and we accepted the offer. It was agreed at the level of foreign ministers that Iranian partners will submit their drafts to us. We hope that we will receive this as soon as possible. We reaffirm our readiness for a substantive dialogue,” Dzhagaryan said.
He reiterated Moscow hopes that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi can visit Russia once the coronavirus situation permits.
“As you know, before the start of the pandemic, our presidents regularly met in Russia, Iran, on the margins of various international events. …We hope that as the epidemiological situation normalizes, the right conditions will emerge for it [the visit] to take place”, Dzhagaryan added.
The ambassador also said that Russia supports Iran’s application for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), filed in 2008.
“We have close, and on a number of international and regional issues, coinciding positions. In connection with the SCO summit scheduled for September of this year in Dushanbe, I would like to confirm that Russia supports Iran’s application for full membership in this organization”, Dzhagaryan said.