China, Iran to Sign 25-Year Cooperation Accord
By Staff, Agencies
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has arrived in Iran for a visit that Iranian state media said would see the signing of a 25-year cooperation agreement between the two countries, which are both under US sanctions.
The accord, final details of which are yet to be announced, is expected to include Chinese investments in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors.
In 2016, China, Iran’s largest trading partner and long-time ally, agreed to boost bilateral trade by more than 10 times to $600 billion in the next decade.
"The signing of the comprehensive cooperation program of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China by the foreign ministers of the two countries is another program of this two-day trip," state news agency IRNA said.
Iran is hardening its stance towards the United States and the European parties to Tehran's 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.
"This document is a complete roadmap with strategic political and economic clauses covering trade, economic and transportation cooperation ... with a special focus on the private sectors of the two sides," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told state TV.
Wang, who is on a six-country tour of West Asia, arrived at the invitation of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after wrapping up his visits to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. He plans to travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and make a working visit to Oman.
The top Chinese diplomat plans to sit down for official talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The Iranian and Chinese foreign ministers are to open an exhibition of historical documents of cooperation between the two countries on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Beijing.
Iran and six world powers – China, Russia, the US, France, Britain and Germany – reached the nuclear agreement in July 2015. But the US, under former President Donald Trump, withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] in May 2018 and subsequently pursued a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
Backed by the three European parties to the deal, the administration of President Joe Biden has called on Iran to reverse all the “remedial measures” it took as a response to the US withdrawal so as to revive the JCPOA.
Tehran has rejected the viewpoint. Iran says it will not reverse its measures before a US return to its JCPOA commitments, including the lifting of the illegal sanctions Washington has imposed on Tehran.