TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari and Shanghai Naval Base Commander Wang Yung stressed the vital importance of the expansion of Tehran-Beijing military cooperation for the reestablishment of sustainable peace and tranquility to the region.
Sayyari, who is in China at the invitation of the Chinese Navy, paid a visit to the Shanghai naval base on Monday afternoon.
The Commander of the Base welcomed Rear Admiral Sayyari and the accompanying delegation, and called the visit unique in the history of military-naval cooperation between the two countries.
He said that this is the first ever visit of an Iranian Navy commander to China and called it a turning point in bilateral naval ties.
Rear Admiral Sayyari, for his part, referred to historical background of bilateral ties in the naval ground and stressed that promotion of friendly cooperation between the two forces has special importance for Iran.
He expressed the hope that his visit to China would pave grounds for bilateral cooperation between the two naval forces.
Sayyari arrived in China on Monday morning to confer with senior Chinese military officials on the expansion of Tehran-Beijing military relations.
A high-ranking military delegation is accompanying Admiral Sayyari in his trip.
Prior to his departure, the Iranian commander said that his visit is aimed at boosting bilateral defense ties within the framework of the agreements endorsed during the visit of the Iranian defense minister to Beijing, training cooperation, and joint wargames.
Last month, a detachment of China’s fleet of warships docked in Iran’s territorial waters in the Southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
It was the first time that a Chinese flotilla sailed and berthed in Iran’s territorial waters.
An Iranian flotilla was in the Sea of China last year to deliver Iran’s message of peace and friendship to the Chinese.
In May, 2013, the Iranian warships docked in Zhangjiagang after a 13,000-kilometer voyage in 40 days as part of their mission to convey Iran’s message of peace and friendship to the East Asian states.
The visit by the Chinese Navy ships also came a few days after the timely presence and action of the Iranian Navy’s 31st Flotilla thwarted an attack by eight pirate speed boats, equipped with various light and semi-heavy weapons, on a Chinese container-carrier ship in the waters of the Gulf of Aden, and forced the pirates to flee the scene.
The Chinese ship was traveling en route from Singapore to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, before it came under pirates’ attack.
The Chinese ship continued its voyage after it was rescued by the Iranian Navy.
The 31st Fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprised of Bayandor destroyer and Bandar Abbas logistic warship, was dispatched to the Gulf of Aden and the high seas late July to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
The fleet of warships has escorted 670 military and cargo ships by now and has identified and traced trans-regional vessels and aircraft.
Iran’s 30th flotilla of warships ended its mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and returned home in July.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
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