IRAN has agreed to carry out joint military exercises with China as Tehran officials are also poised to sign an £8billion arms deal with Russia.
The latest military agreement adds to mounting fears the three nations are bulking up their military might in the face of Donald Trump’s election.
Tehran and Beijing officials announced that an agreement had been signed on Monday to conduct joint military exercises – just the latest step towards deepening military cooperation between the two nations.
The military deal, signed by Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan and his Iranian counterpart General Hossein Dehghan, was agreed to help “create a collective movement” against terrorism and is an “upgrade in long-term military and defence cooperation with China”, Iranian media announced.
Tehran officials are also weighing up an £8billion arms deal with Putin, which would include a new batch of planes, helicopters, artillery systems and T-90 tanks being delivered to the Islamic republic.
Iran is looking to bolster its military capacity ahead of Trump’s inauguration as the US President in January after he promised to tear up the Iran deal signed by Obama.
Trump dubbed the agreement, signed by the US and four other nations to ease sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation in return for a scaling down of nuclear testing, as “the stupidest deal of all time” and “a one-sided transaction where we are giving back $150billion to a terrorist state”.
The deal signed by President Obama has strained relations between the White House and Israel, threatening to further disrupt the region.
Trump has also risked angering China during his Presidential campaign as the Republican threatened to slap 45 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports and accused the communist state of “raping” the US economy.
Following a conversation with the President-elect, Chinese premier Xi Jinping claimed the two leaders “had clear sense of mutual respect”.
The communist leader added: “The facts prove that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States.”
Putin has also hinted a new chapter in Russian-US diplomacy could be about to start with the election of Donald Trump.