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Iran plans to sell more arms to "friendly" states: military official

(Xinhua)

11:33, March 11, 2012

TEHRAN, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Deputy Defense Minister Majid Bokaei said Saturday that Iran plans to sell more arms to " friendly" and neighboring countries in the new Iranian calendar year starting on March 20, the local Mehr news agency reported.

Bokaei did not mention the name of the friendly states that Iran plans to sell arms to, but in February, he said to Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghusn that Iran is seeking to strengthen defense ties with friendly countries.

On Feb. 26, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi and his Lebanese counterpart held talks on defense cooperation in Tehran.

During the meeting, Vahidi said that one of Iran's strategic policies was to strengthen the Lebanese army. Lebanon should have a strong army to defend its interests in the region and Lebanon should be protected against the threats, Vahidi said.

Ghusn's visit to Iran provided a good opportunity for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the area of defense, Vahidi said.

In October 2011, Iran's ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi said Tehran was ready to equip the Lebanese army and expand bilateral defense cooperation without setting any preconditions.

Speaking at a meeting with Ghusn in Lebanon's capital Beirut, Roknabadi said that developing stronger defense cooperation between the two sides was necessary given the daily violations of Lebanese airspace by the Israeli fighter jets.

Iranian defense minister has reiterated that the Islamic republic is fully prepared to provide Lebanese army with cutting- edge military equipment if it receives any request from Lebanon for equipping its army.

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