Capabilities of the Iranian military are a source of pride: Azeri defense chief

January 26, 2022 - 21:27

TEHRAN - General Zakir Hasanov, Defense Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, who was on a two-day tour of Iran, said on Wednesday that Iran’s military capabilities are a “source of pride”.

“The military strength and capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are a source of pride,” Hasanov said in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.

Defense Minister Hasanov also thanked the Iranian officials and government for their support of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

He called for expansion of bilateral relations and invited the Iranian defense minister to visit Baku.

For his part, Iran’s defense minister said in view of historical and cultural commonalities between the two nations, Iran and Azerbaijan need to develop relations, especially in areas of defense and security.

Noting that deepening defense and security cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan is very important, Ashtiani said, “Due to the special geopolitical situation and characteristics, the two countries have a lot of capacities and capabilities to expand comprehensive relations.”

During the two-day visit, the Azeri defense minister met with high-ranking Iranian military and political officials. The main goals of the trip, according to IRNA, are to develop military and security cooperation.

Azeri defense chief meets Raisi

Speaking in a meeting with Azeri Defense Minister Hasanov on Wednesday, Iran’s President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi also said Tehran-Baku interactions are beyond mere relations.

“Iran and Azerbaijan are not only relatives, but the existing relation are based on the deep beliefs of the people of the two countries in common religious principles that have been established throughout history,” Raisi remarked.

Referring to his meeting with the Azeri president on the sidelines of the ECO summit in Turkmenistan, Raisi said the policy of Iran is extensive cooperation with neighbors, especially Azerbaijan in the Caucasus region, and according to the emphasis made by the presidents of the two countries, the process of developing economic and trade interactions, including transit interactions between the two countries, is accelerating.

The president also said Iran's power in the region brings security. He also warned that the presence of Takfiri groups including Daesh is not in the interest of the people of the region anywhere. 

“These groups are made by the Americans and the Zionists and have committed criminal acts wherever they are present,” he pointed out.

He also said the Zionist regime is the enemy of humanity and can by no means be a friend of the Muslim nations. The president cited the occupations and aggressions by the Zionists in the region, particularly against the Palestinian people, as a proof to these bitter facts.

The president expressed hope that through conscious planning by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Takfiri movements and those who do not want to reconcile with Muslims would not be able to gain a foothold in the region.

During the meeting, the Azeri defense minister described his meetings and talks with his Iranian counterparts as very fruitful for future cooperation.

During a meeting with the Azeri defense minister on Tuesday, Iran’s armed forces chief Major General Mohammad Bagheri also warned that terrorists are trying to spread across the region, including the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The top general said, “Terrorists in Syria and Iraq have been defeated, but not destroyed.” 

ISIS, also called Daesh in its Arabic acronym, unleashed its biggest attack in Syria since the fall of its “caliphate” three years ago. More than 100 ISIS militants assaulted the main prison holding terrorists, sparking a battle with Kurdish fighters that continued 24 hours later and left dozens dead on Friday, NBC news reported. 

Across the border in Iraq, ISIS gunmen stormed an army barracks north of Baghdad before dawn on Friday while soldiers inside slept, killing 11 before escaping — the deadliest attack in months on Iraq’s military.

“These terrorists are trying to spread the region, including Afghanistan, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Confronting them requires the cooperation of the countries of the region,” General Bagheri insisted.

Major General Mohammad Bagheri also said defense cooperation between Iran and the Republic Azerbaijan will surely expand and this will benefit security in the two countries. 

“I hope your visit to Iran is a good opportunity for development and consolidation of relations between the two countries, especially in defense, technical and military fields.”
Referring to the policy of Iran in opposing occupation, General Bagheri also said, “The liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which took place after three decades, pleased the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the people of Iran.”

Emphasizing the need to respect the territorial integrity of all countries, the military chief said that Iran is as sensitive to the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan as it is to its own.

Bagheri also said the presence of Israel in the region is a source of division and a threat to the security and stability of the countries in the region.

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