- The Washington Times - Friday, May 23, 2014

Iran and Russia aim to send a “clear message” to the United States by strengthening their military ties.

Iran Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan has invited Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to visit his country and solidify that message, according to multiple news reports. Mr. Shoigu said he welcomed the opportunity to discuss closer cooperation and regional security, but it was unclear when he would be able to make the trip to Iran.

The two defense ministers discussed improving relations when they met Friday during an international security conference in Moscow. In his opening remarks at the conference, Mr. Dehqan said that his visit marked a “new level” in Russian-Iranian relations.

Mr. Dehqan’s call for improved military-to-military collaboration comes just as China is pushing for a new security cooperation structure that includes Russia and Iran, essentially placing a cap on the amount of influence the United States has on that region of the world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping brought up the idea of developing a joint security cooperation effort that excluded the United States during a conference in Shanghai, China.

 

— This article was based in part on wire service reports.