Iran says ready to help Azerbaijan meet its defense needs

Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have similar views toward major regional and international issues, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said in a meeting with his visiting Azeri counterpart Zakir Hasanov on Monday. Colonel-General Hasanov arrived in Tehran for bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials at the invitation of Dehqan.

Dehqan noted that the two countries have the potential to expand relations in political, economic, and defense areas which could be materialized within the framework of mutual agreements.

“The fundamental policy of the 11th (Iranian) government and particularly that of Mr. (Hassan) Rouhani is based on expanding bilateral cooperation with neighboring countries, and the Republic of Azerbaijan has a significant position in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Dehqan said.

Dehqan further noted that the Iranian Defense Ministry is ready to help the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan to meet its defense requirements.

He described the common borders as borders of “friendship” and “brotherhood”, adding that an expansion of relations between Tehran and Baku could ensure the security and calm in border areas.

General Dehqan went on to say that regional countries should take serious measures to firmly deal with terrorism and extremism, which he called the major sources of insecurity and instability in the region.

The Azeri minister, for his part, expressed delight over his visit to Iran and said he hoped that his trip would help boost relations between the two countries in the defense sphere.

“The friendly and neighboring country of Iran is a great state in the region and (we consider) cooperation with this country as one of our foreign policy priorities,” Hasanov said according to a translation of his words.

Last Wednesday, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev visited Tehran at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. Four cooperation agreements were signed between the two neighbors during the visit.

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