Iran Marks Readiness to Share Advanced Military Tech With Friends and Neighbours
Subjected to decades of restrictions on the purchase of weaponry from abroad, the Islamic Republic has created a substantive domestic military-industrial complex at home - including advanced ballistic and cruise missile tech and defence electronics. Iran sees its conventional capabilities as a sufficient deterrent to any foreign aggression.
Iran is engaged in military cooperation with a number of countries, and is ready to provide advanced weapons technologies to its neighbours and allies, Habibollah Sayyari, deputy chief of Army Coordination Affairs, has said.
"Besides progressive relations with various countries, Iran is engaged in military cooperation with some of them and is interested in sharing its advanced scientific and military technologies with other friendly and neighbouring countries as well," Sayyari said, speaking at a meeting of foreign military attaches on Tuesday.
The senior officer stressed that "regional stability and security will be established based on mutual strength and interactions," and boasted of Iran's efforts to improve relations with all countries apart from the "Zionist regime" (Israel), notwithstanding the artificial roadblocks generated by US sanctions.
"Although we encounter difficulties forming relations with our neighbours owing to sanctions, we believe that these problems can be solved by effective interactions and dialogue," Sayyari said. He added that there was "no need for any help from foreign powers" when it comes to improving regional cooperation.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood with the regional nations and has not violated their rights, and has recognized the independence of all countries," Sayyari said, emphasizing that Tehran has never cast a "covetous eye" on any of its neighbours.
Israel - Iran's sworn regional foe, has expressed concerns about the Islamic Republic's alleged attempts to ring the Jewish State with missile and drone-armed proxies. Late last year, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz gave a presentation in which he accused Tehran of training "terrorists" from across the Middle East in the use of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, saying that a military base in central Iran was working with militias from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Gantz claimed that Yemen's Houthi militias and Iraqi Shiite militias have obtained "dozens" of advanced UAVs from Iran for use against Saudi and American forces, with Syria reportedly on track to getting "hundreds" of drones, with some also smuggled to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The defence minister also accused Iran of trying to transfer blueprints which would allow Palestinian militias like Hamas and Islamic Jihad to build Iranian-designed drones independently.
Iran has made no secret about its provision of military and advisory assistance to the Iraqi and Syrian militaries, and to the powerful Popular Mobilisation Forces militias in Iraq which aided Baghdad in its fight against Daesh (ISIS)* after being created in 2014. Iran's Revolutionary Guard has also openly provided assistance to Hezbollah - which joined Damascus in its fight against foreign-backed jihadists in 2012. However, Tehran has denied arming Yemen's Houthis, pointing to the naval and air blockade imposed on the country by the Saudi-led coalition. Iran maintains that it limits its assistance to the Houthis to moral support, and to work on diplomatic efforts to bring the war in that country to an end.
* A terrorist group outlawed across most of the world.
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