Iran, Russia sign classified military deal: Navy chief

August 5, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian and Russian armed forces have signed a “classified” agreement to expand cooperation through a series of projects, Chief of Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced on Sunday.

Khanzadi made the announcement during the opening ceremony of an international military diving competition on the southern Iranian Kish Island.

He said one of the projects will be joint military drills in the Persian Gulf before the end of the year, Press TV reported.

The admiral said he signed the deal with the Russian Defense Ministry on behalf of the Iranian military during his trip to Moscow last week.

“Some articles of this agreement are classified but overall; it is aimed at expanding military cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

“Of course, a large part of it includes the naval forces of the two countries and the agreement can be called the first of its kind between the two sides,” he said, describing the agreement as a “turning point” in military ties between Iran and Russia.

Khanzadi also dismissed as insignificant recent actions by the United States and the United Kingdom to escalate tension in the Persian Gulf region.

“Nothing has happened in the region…and the show that arrogant countries, most importantly the U.S. and Britain, put on is only a big bluff and a dishonest act aimed to create the impression that the region is unsafe,” the admiral pointed out.

“This is while the region is perfectly safe,” the commander said, calling such efforts futile.

The United States has been pushing its regional allies to form a coalition force that would supposedly ensure the safety of foreign vessels sailing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

Britain has also dispatched three warships to the Persian Gulf after Iranian forces detained a British tanker that had collided with a fishing boat in the Strait and refused to heed its distress calls afterwards.

Both Washington and London have been trying to justify escalation in the strategic waters by accusing Iran of trying to destabilize shipping activities in the Persian Gulf in response to renewed American sanctions, especially on its exports.

MH/PA

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