Russia and Iran Expand Military Cooperation
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Russia and Iran cooperate politically, economically, financially, and militarily.
In January 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan signed a "long term and multifaceted" military cooperation agreement.
It aims to counter hostile Middle East meddling by external forces — namely, the US, NATO, and Israel.
Shoigu called the agreement "(a) great step in consolidating (bilateral) relations," an effort "to promote and increase…the military capabilities of the armed forces of our countries" defensively against hostile external forces.
Dehghan made similar remarks, adding: "Iran and Russia are able to confront the expansionist intervention and greed of the United States through cooperation, synergy and activating strategic potential capacities."
"As two neighbors, Iran and Russia have common viewpoints toward political, regional and global issues." Both countries are targeted by the US for regime change.
In 2010, bilateral relations soured over then-President Medvedev siding with US-led Western-promoted Security Council sanctions on Iran — for pursuing its legitimate nuclear activities.
The hostile move cost Russia about $13 billion in arms sales to the Islamic Republic, China the beneficiary.
On Monday in Tehran, Russia's Defense Ministry and Armed Forces General Staff signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran on expanding bilateral military relations.
Iranian Navy commander Admiral Hossein Khanzadi called the document "the first memorandum of understanding of this kind, and it may be considered as a turning point in relations of Tehran in Moscow along the defense trajectory," adding:
"A joint Russian-Iranian exercise is expected to be held shortly in the Indian Ocean. The exercise may also be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, including in the Strait of Hormuz."
The exercises are a response to provocative US and UK deployment of more warships to the Persian Gulf and Hormuz Strait on the phony pretext of pursuing maritime security — jeopardized by the military presence of these belligerent nations.
Moscow and Tehran may also jointly strengthen defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea, its waters bordering five regional countries, including Russia and Iran.
According for former UK ambassador/human rights activist Craig Murray, Britain "never had a foreign secretary remotely as xenophobic as Dominic Raab."
Reportedly he told the UK owned and controlled BBC propaganda service that the BoJo regime won't swap the (illegally) seized Iranian Grace 1 super-tanker for the (legally impounded) UK-flagged Stena Impero by Iran for its maritime breach.
"There is no quid pro quo," he roared, adding: "This is not about some kind of barter. This is about the international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld and that is what we will insist on (sic)."
Fact: Britain's seizure flagrantly breached international law. Iran acted in full compliance with its law of the sea obligations.
Rabb lied claiming otherwise. Britain's high-seas piracy showed complicity with the Trump regime's hostile anti-Iran agenda, the alliance of both countries against the Islamic Republic likely dooming the JCPOA.
On Tuesday, Press TV said the Grace 1's captain explained that the vessel's unlawful seizure followed "a very dangerous" helicopter landing on the tanker.
Thirty UK marines belligerently took over the ship, the captain saying: "How do you come on a ship like this with armed forces and such brute force? For what reason?"
The marines ordered his crew to kneel at gunpoint, the captain adding:
"They didn't care whether I was master…There were no regulations…We had 28 unarmed crew. I was in a state of shock. Everybody was in a state of shock."
What happened was a pirate act, UK marines acting like high-seas bandits on orders from Westminster.
Separately, in response to Trump's geopolitical ignorance, tweeting that "the Iranians never won a war" — showing he doesn't know that the Islamic Republic never waged a war on another country, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted the following:
"For millennia, Iranians have outlasted every aggressor. But, the US has spent $7 trillion & rivers of blood in our region, in its biggest failure since Vietnam."
Pre-1979 Iran, known as Persia for millennia, never attacked another country for centuries — what the US and its rogue partners do repeatedly.
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