Iranian media reports say the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, Major-General Mohammad Baqeri noted yesterday that Iran and Tajikistan have agreed to establish a joint defensive and military committee.

According to IRNA, he made the remarks while speaking to reporters after a meeting with visiting Defense Minister of Tajikistan, Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo. 

General Baqeri reportedly said that the joint committee will draw the future of military and defensive cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

Iranian general said that the visit to Tehran by the Tajik defense minister laid the foundations for the expansion of military cooperation between Iran and Tajikistan. 

Baqeri believed that cooperation between the armed forces of Iran and Tajikistan will definitely help boost regional security and stability.

Tasnim news agency notes that pointing to the visits that the Tajik defense minister has paid to a number of military industrial sites of Iran, the Iranian general said that talks have been held about cooperation between the two states in the military training sphere.

He further said that the visit of the Tajik military delegation to Iran “is the beginning of the development of military and defense relations between the two countries,” according to Mehr News Agency (MNA).

According to the Iranian minister, both Iran and Tajikistan like the entire region are living under the threat of terrorism, adding that threats against regional stability come from beyond the region from the intervention of foreign powers, MNA says.

Highlighting the common language as well as the cultural and religious values shared by Iran and Tajikistan, Baqeri reportedly expressed hope that the springtime would mark a spring of military development of the two nations.

After a meeting with General Baqeri, the Tajik defense minister reportedly met with his Iranian counterpart for a second time during his stay in Tehran.

Speaking to reporters during a joint press conference after the meeting, the Iranian minister of defense said that there are many different grounds for cooperation between the two countries in the areas of security and defense.

Brigadier-General Amir Hatami said that both Iran and Tajikistan are subject to terrorist threats as well as other regional countries which have their roots in extra-regional interventions. 

Tajikistan’s defense minister said for his part that Ashgabat believes that fight against terrorism in the region relies on the expansion of cooperation among regional countries.  

The Minister of Defense of Tajikistan heading a military delegation arrived in Iran on Tuesday on a working visit. 

Recall, Tajikistan and Iran have vowed to boost bilateral cooperation.  On March 29, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon met in Dushanbe with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the regional conference themed “Heart of Asia –Istanbul Process.” The Tajik president’s official website says the construction of the Istiqlol Tunnel was recognized as one of the positive examples of the bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Iran.  In connection with the aggravation of geopolitical and geostrategic competition, the growing threats and challenges to security and the situation in Afghanistan, it was found necessary to take joint measures to prevent terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.  The two sides also discussed other areas of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas such as economy, trade, energy, industry, transportation, science and culture.  On March 30, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks with his Tajik counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin.  The two discussed the ways to develop bilateral cooperation

Relations between Tajikistan and Iran have come under strain after officials in Tehran invited Muhiddin Kabiri, who chairs the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) banned in Tajikistan, to an international Islamic conference in December 2015.  In 2014, Iran was Tajikistan’s third-largest trade partner with trade turnover amounting to about US$200 million, but due to a relationship crisis, the figures dropped to US$60-70 million in 2015.

In 2019, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani paid a visit to Tajikistan, signaling thaw of relations between the two countries.