20:10 GMT16 January 2021
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)
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    The Iranian defense minister emphasized that Tehran was ready to begin consultations on the issue to secure stability in the region.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iran calls for cooperation with Russia, India and China to oppose NATO's plans for military expansion in Europe, the country's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said Thursday at a press conference in Moscow.

    "We would like to support the idea of developing a multifaceted cooperation between China, Iran, Russia, and India to oppose the purposeful expansion of NATO to the east and placing a missile shield in Europe."

    NATO has been boosting its presence in Eastern Europe which has caused concerns from Russian authorities. The process is taking place amid tensions between the alliance and Moscow, following NATO's accusations that Russia was providing Ukraine's southeastern militias with military assistance.

    He emphasized that Iran was ready to begin consultations on the issue to secure stability in the region.

    Iran and Russia suggest holding a three-way defense meeting with China, the Iranian minister said.

    "Three-way talks of the Russian, Chinese and Iranian defense ministers were also suggested [at the meeting]. Both sides expressed their support for the proposal," he said.

    Dehghan is in Moscow where he is attending a two-day conference on international security. The meeting has brought together military chiefs from Iran, Pakistan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Serbia, South Africa and its host Russia.

    Iranian and Russian defense ministers discussed "mechanisms of cooperation within regional organizations," including between Caspian states, the Iranian official told journalists.

    Following a breakthrough deal between Tehran and the world powers, Russia said it looks forward to enhancing cooperation with Iran in various spheres, including the implementation of joint defense, nuclear and energy projects, once the sanctions are lifted.

    It also raised the possibility of Iran's full accession into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which has both Russia and China as members.

    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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