Tajik Defense Minister, Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo, met with Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani, here on October 17.

Faridoun Mahmadalizoda, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview that the parties discussed issues related to state and prospects of further expansion of military cooperation between Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Defense Ministry spokesman refrained from giving further details of the meeting. 

Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Dushanbe on October 17.  Iranian media reports said yesterday that he also scheduled to hold talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.   

Mohammad-Reza Gharaei Ashtiani is a member of the Iranian military with the rank of Brigadier General who has served as the minister of defense since 2021.  Ashtiani was sworn in on August 25, 2021, replacing Brigadier General Amir Hatami who had held role since 2017.

Recall, Iran’s Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Major-General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, heading a high-profile delegation visited Dushanbe in May last year to discuss issues of expanding military cooperation with Tajikistan.  During the visit, General Bagheri inaugurated an Iranian factory manufacturing Ababil-2 military drones in Dushanbe May 17, 2022.  

Some experts note that Bagheri’s visit to Tajikistan heralded the beginning of a new era of defense cooperation between the two countries as they seek to tackle fresh challenges in the region.