S. Africa, Venezuela keen on expanding defense ties with Iran

Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, who is on a visit to St. Petersburg to participate in a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the founding of the Russian Navy, held talks with his South African and Venezuelan counterparts, Vice-Admiral Monde Lobese and Admiral Neil Jesús Villamizar Sánchez respectively on Sunday. 
Irani appreciated South Africa’s warm reception of the Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla of warships and invited his counterpart to pay a visit to Iran and to participate in naval exercises.
Vice-Admiral Monde Lobese, for his part, said that the good relations between South Africa and Iran lay the basis of the growing cooperation between the navies of the two countries.
He added that South African waters and ports are open to all Iranian military and civilian vessels. 
In his meeting with the Venezuelan navy commander, Irani referred to the strategic position of this country in the western Atlantic Ocean, adding that today, the Iranian navy has an active presence in all international scenes with its ability and authority.
Admiral Neil Jesús Villamizar Sánchez, for his part, stated that the military cooperation between Iran and Venezuela, especially in the maritime field, is very deep and these relations are expanding day by day.

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