The deal signed in Tehran is expected to boost bilateral trade and military cooperation as US rivals prepare to deepen ties.
Tehran, Iran – Iran and China signed a long-standing 25-year cooperation agreement, with the two countries remaining under US sanctions.
The agreement was signed in Tehran on Saturday by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Wang, who landed in Tehran on Friday for a two-day visit as part of his trip to the Middle East, also met with President Hassan Rouhani and Ali Larijani, a representative of Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei who was allegedly the person- resource on 25 year agreement.
The deal has reportedly been in the works since Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran in 2016, also agreeing to increase bilateral trade more than 10 times to $ 600 billion over the next decade.
No details of the deal have been officially released yet, but it is expected to be a far-reaching “strategic deal” including significant Chinese investments in key Iranian sectors such as energy and energy. infrastructure, in addition to military cooperation.
It comes as Iran and China are subject to different levels of sanctions imposed by the United States.
After unilaterally scrapping the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal with world powers – which also included China – former US President Donald Trump imposed tough sanctions on Iran which blacklisted its entire financial system.
While saying he wants to restore the deal, President Joe Biden has so far refused to lift any sanction, claiming that Iran must first act to honor the commitments it has reduced in response to US sanctions.
China and Russia have called on the US to reinstate the deal by lifting sanctions, while traders and analysts say Iran’s oil exports to China increased significantly in March despite US warnings .
Rouhani thanked Wang on Saturday for China’s stance on the nuclear deal and its resistance to “US unilateralism.”
“The cooperation of the two countries to implement the JCPOA and implement the commitments of European countries is very important and can change the current situation,” he said, referring to the official name of the nuclear deal.
The president also said that Iran and China can work together to fight “terrorism and extremism in the region” in addition to economic and trade cooperation.
Wang was quoted by the president’s website as saying that maintaining the nuclear deal would mean preserving multilateralism.
“The new American administration wants to rethink its policy and return to the JCPOA. China welcomes it, ”he reportedly said.
As China and Iran approach 50 years of official diplomatic relations, an exhibition of diplomatic documents and achievements between the two countries was opened on Saturday at the Foreign Ministry building in Tehran.
But the Cooperation Pact has also been a point of contention in Iran, where a discussion of its goals and merits has divided people and officials.
Supporters of the deal say Iran will gain by looking east as the United States and the West take an increasingly hostile approach, while critics say Iran may give up. be too much in its quest to strengthen its ties with China.
Iran and China have also cooperated on COVID-19 during the pandemic, with China donating 250,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine to Iran last month.