TEHRAN- Brigadier General Amir Hatami, Iran’s defence minister, says Iran and India enjoy great capacities to promote defence and military ties given the many affinities that the two states share, including their position on various international issues.

In a meeting on Wednesday with Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat in the city of Bangalore, Hatami said, “Tehran and New Delhi have cultural and historical commonalities, common approaches toward many regional and international issues and geographical capacities, particularly in the Indian Ocean.”

Highlighting the capacities of both states to expand ties, the Iranian defence chief noted, “These capacities can play a significant role in expanding the two countries’ relations, particularly in the defence and military sectors.” 

The Iranian minister participated in the opening ceremony of Aero India 2021, which started at an air force base in Bangalore on Wednesday.

For his part, General Rawat hailed the current visit by the high-ranking Iranian defence delegation to India and its participation in the inauguration of the 13th Aero India air show, saying this shows that the two countries have the will to strengthen cooperation.

As one of the largest states in the IOR, Iran has over the past years expanded its presence in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, which covers approximately one-fifth of the total ocean area of the world stretching between the southern tips of Africa and Australia.

The Islamic Republic’s naval forces usually hold military drills in the strategic waters with the aim of both increasing their defence readiness against potential threats and ensuring the security of international trade in the region.

Since the termination of the UN arms embargo on Iran in 2020, the Islamic Republic intends to buy advanced weapons from Asian states notably India and China. 

Addressing the Bangalore Air Show on Friday, Iranian Air Force Commander Amir Aziz Nasirzadeh said his Air Force has started a speedy move toward building drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) through using nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.

Noting that Air Force is the most concrete example of national power in the air and space, the commander said quick endeavour by Iran to gain access to such drone is the right of Iran.