635573375281043687-000-Nic6408975Iran and Russia signed an agreement Tuesday to expand military ties in a visit to Tehran by the Russian defense minister. Sergei Shoigu, in remarks carried by Russian news agencies, said Moscow wants to develop a “long-term and multifaceted” military relationship with Iran. He said that the new agreement includes expanded counter-terrorism cooperation, exchanges of military personnel for training purposes and an understanding for each country’s navy to more frequently use the other’s ports. Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan urged greater cooperation as a means of opposing American ambitions in the region. Moscow and Tehran have staunchly supported Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout Syria’s civil war, while Washington advocates regime change and supports rebel groups. “Iran and Russia are able to confront the expansionist intervention and greed of the United States through cooperation, synergy and activating strategic potential capacities,” Dehghan said. “As two neighbors, Iran and Russia have common viewpoints toward political, regional and global issues.” Russia has maintained friendly ties with Iran and has built its first nuclear power plant. Last fall, it signed a deal to build two more reactors in Iran. More