Iran defense minister participates in SCO meeting

April 28, 2023 - 23:4

TEHRAN – Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiyani took part in a meeting of defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in India on Friday. 

The Iranian defense minister met with his Belarusian and Indian counterparts on the sidelines of the SCO meeting. 

‘War of Attrition’

In his meeting with Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, Ashtiyani said the West seeks to bring about a war of attrition by continuing to send weapons to Ukraine. 

The Iranian defense minister also said Belarus has a special position in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic, and this shows Iran's interest in developing and consolidating bilateral ties in all fields, including defense.

He went on to say that Iran and Belarus's interactions and cooperation are progressing in important global and regional issues, including the Shanghai Summit, the Eurasian Economic Union and the United Nations, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

Referring to the recent visit of the President of Belarus to Tehran and emphasizing the promotion of relations and cooperation to a strategic level, he said that the interactions make the future prospects of relations look much brighter.

Touching on the interventionist and unilateralist approaches of the West, he stated that the United States and some Western countries are looking for a war of attrition in Ukraine by continuing to provide military support and sending weapons to the country.

Referring to Iran's clear positions on various regional and global issues, the official reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran supports any diplomatic effort that leads to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

Viktor Khrenin, for his part, stated that both sides are looking for multilateralism and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries, adding that the sanctions policy against both countries is a failed policy.

International equations changing

Ashtiyani also met with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. Referring to the cultural and historical commonalities between Iran and the Republic of India, the Iranian defense minister said that the relations between the two countries have always been friendly and respectful.

“The support and will of the top political leaders of the two countries, along with these commonalities, is a reliable support for the development of relations,” General Ashtiyani noted. 

Referring to the meeting of the President of Iran and the Prime Minister of India at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, Ashtiyani said, “These connections are very valuable and must be developed and strengthened.”

He stated, “Today, Shanghai has become an influential organization in global developments and equations, whose expansion and strengthening can be an effective measure in promoting and advancing multilateralism in the international arena.”

It is only in light of interaction and cooperation between countries that “we can deal with common security challenges and threats in the region and the world,” the defense chief added.

According to Ashtiyani, the SCO is one of the most important security arrangements in the world to establish stability and security.

Underlining that the successful holding of the SCO defense ministers shows the important and effective role of the Indian government in maintaining regional and global peace, stability and security, the Iranian defense minister said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to strengthen its defense and military cooperation with the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, especially the Indian armed forces.”

Ashtiyani went on to say that regional and international equations are changing. “The Islamic Republic of Iran and India are located in two strategic regions and have many capacities for defense and security cooperation, which can be used to maintain peace and security in the sensitive region of West Asia and the Indian subcontinent,” he pointed out. 

The Iranian defense minister stated that both Iran and India have a common security border. “Afghanistan is one of the borders whose changes have a direct impact on the interests and security of the two countries,” he noted. 

Ashtiyani also stated that Chabahar port and the North-South corridor are of special importance. “We are ready to cooperate with you regarding this corridor and its development,” he said.

The Iranian defense minister pointed out that Iran does not have any restrictions to strengthen cooperation with India and said, “This cooperation can include a diverse range of military and educational defense cooperation.”


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