Iran and China have signed a 25-year agreement on close strategic cooperation. The long-term agreement covers a wide range of economic issues facing Iran, which is facing severe difficulties due to US sanctions.
According to reports from the Iranian capital, Tehran, on March 27, Iranian state television said the agreement was signed between the two countries on Saturday.
The bilateral agreement, dubbed the “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”, covers a wide range of economic activities, from the oil industry and mining to industrial efficiency.
In addition, the agreement will enable closer cooperation between Tehran and Beijing in the transport and agricultural sectors for a quarter of a century. According to Iranian television, Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi attended the signing ceremony.
The first long-term agreement with a major world power
The deal with China is the first long-term deal for Iran with a major world power. Earlier, in 2001, Iran signed an agreement with Russia, mostly on nuclear energy, but the agreement lasted only ten years.
The agreement was later extended twice for five years. Thus, the total duration of this Russian-Iranian agreement was twenty years.
Ahead of the signing ceremony, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian envoy Ali Larijani, who is overseeing the bilateral agreement.
In this regard, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Friday described the crucial bilateral agreement as “far-reaching, multi-faceted and very comprehensive.”
Negotiations for this agreement have been going on since 2016. Under this, Beijing and Tehran will also be able to exchange tourism and culture. The agreement was reached on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
China-Iranian relations are much warmer, and in 2019 the two countries participated in joint naval exercises with Russia in the North Indian Ocean.
The relationship between Beijing and Tehran is so deep that the annual trade volume between the two has reached nearly ﹰ 20 billion in recent years.
Earlier in 2014, the annual value of this trade was about ﹰ 52 billion, but then the volume was reduced due to US sanctions against Iran and falling oil prices in world markets.
Additional economic woes for Iran resurfaced in 2018 when then-US President Donald Trump announced a unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal with world powers. At the time, Donald Trump’s position was that the nuclear deal with Iran should be renegotiated.
Since the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran has apparently revoked the agreement on its own. The Tehran government is failing to comply with several provisions of the deal, one of which deals with uranium enrichment.
Tehran’s move is also intended to put pressure on other key signatories to the nuclear deal to do more to prevent it from falling.
These countries include Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China and now China has signed a 25-year strategic partnership agreement with Iran.