Chinese deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army admiral Sun Jianguo said on Thursday that China wants to deepen military ties with Iran, after his meeting with Iran’s defence minister in Tahran.
China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy relations. China also has been active in mediating between United States and Iran to reach an agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear program.
China's Defense Ministry said Admiral Sun Jianguo told Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan that China paid great attention to developing relations with Iran.
"The aim of this delegation's visit is to further promote friendship, deepen cooperation and exchange views with Iran on bilateral military ties and issues of mutual concern," Sun said.
He also added that the relation would also "promote the preservation of international and regional peace and stability."
Under the Iranian nuclear-multilateral agreement in July, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted following acceptance of Iran to long-term curbs on its nuclear program.
In theory, the deal should give the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extra authority in its attempts to inspect sites and centrifuges in question, a condition previously rejected by Tehran.
Iran also accepted a "snapback" plan that will restore the pulled back sanctions in 65 days, if the country violates the deal agreed with six world powers to curb the country's nuclear programme.
Sun said that China, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, was glad that an agreement had been reached with the international bodies and world powers.
Last year, for the first time ever, China participated in a joint naval exercise in the Gulf with warships docked at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port.
Iran and Russia have both given their support for President Bashar Assad’s war in Syria. Despite dependence on Iran’s oil, China remains a low key diplomatic player in the Middle East and warned time and time again that military action cannot stop the civil war in Syria and has called for peace talks and a political transition.