Iran defense ties establishment eyed

The Department of National Defense said it is willing to further explore engagements in areas of common interest with non-traditional partners, nurturing the Philippines’ independent foreign policy.

Defense Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans, and Retiree Affairs Franco Nemesio Gacal made this statement after Ambassador of Iran to the Philippines Alireza Tootoonchian paid a courtesy call to the DND earlier this week.

Tootoonchian expressed the intent of Iran to develop defense cooperation with the Philippines, particularly in the areas of disaster management and response, counter-terrorism, and self-reliant defense posture.

He also highlighted that both the Philippines and Iran are both prone to natural disasters and calamities and share similar security issues related to terrorism and violent extremism which opens Iran’s door for partnership opportunities with the Philippines.

Tootoonchian conveyed Iran’s desire to conduct high-level visits between both countries’ defense officials.

Gacal, on the other hand, said that strengthening the Philippines’ self-reliant defense posture is one of the major thrusts of the current administration, emphasizing its significance in enhancing defense and military capabilities in addressing pressing security challenges.

During the meeting of the two officials, Gacal disclosed that the current efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to combat foreign terrorist fighters and local terrorist groups in the country.

Gacal and Tootoonchian are looking forward to developing Philippines-Iran bilateral defense relations.

The two countries are studying possible areas of cooperation between their defense and military establishments.

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