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China Said To Seek Deeper Military Ties With Iran

China wants to deepen military ties with Iran, a senior Chinese admiral said on October 15 after meeting with Iran's defense minister in Tehran.

Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, told Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan that China paid great attention to developing relations with Iran, China's Defense Ministry said.

"The aim of this delegation's visit is to further promote friendship, deepen cooperation, and exchange views with Iran on bilateral military ties and issues of mutual concern," Sun said.

Iranian Major General Mohammad Baqeri said the two nations agreed to "promote our defense ties just like our economic ties."

Last year, for the first time, two Chinese warships docked at Iran's Bandar Abbas port to take part in joint naval exercises in the Gulf, and an Iranian admiral was given tours of a Chinese submarine and warships.

China and Iran already have close diplomatic, economic, trade, and energy ties. China is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil.

China was active in pushing both the United States and Iran to reach agreement on Iran's nuclear program, and Sun said he was pleased a deal was reached in July.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Al-Alam