TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani expressed the country’s readiness to stage joint naval exercises with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states.
The Iranian general made the comments in meeting of the SCO defense ministers, held in New Delhi on Friday.
Brigadier General Ashtiani reiterated in his speech that Iran’s defense doctrine has a fixed message, which is peace, stability, friendship and security for all neighboring countries, the region and the whole world.
“As a result, we are seriously seeking today to activate multilateral defense diplomacy and active engagement in the regional and international security arrangements,” the Iranian defense minister added.
He then expressed Iran’s readiness to play a more active role in the SCO and promote cooperation with its member states in holding joint naval exercises, exchanging security intelligence in the fight against terrorism, sharing experiences in the battle against all forms of terrorism, responding to natural disasters, and dealing with pandemics.
Highlighting the significance of plans to ensure the development, prosperity and security of the SCO members, General Ashtiani proposed the idea of formation of ‘Shanghai Maritime Security Belt’ mechanism with the participation of the armed forces of all SCO member states in order to protect the security of maritime routes and ensure the safety of global trade with collective efforts.
Considering the emergence of new threats, it is necessary for the SCO to make the necessary and long-term arrangements to set up appropriate structures in the “cyber defense” and “cognitive defense” sections, the Iranian minister suggested.
The Iranian defense minister, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu, Russia’s Sergei Shoigu, Tajikistan’s Colonel General Sherali Mirzo, and Kazakhstan’s Colonel General Ruslan Zhaksylykov are among the dignitaries attending the meeting in Delhi, chaired by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
The meeting focuses on pressing regional security challenges and related issues.