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Iran and China sign a “25-year strategic cooperation pact” in Tehran

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                Beijing and Tehran signed a 25-year comprehensive strategic and economic agreement on Saturday.  The key is reciprocal investments in different areas: transport, energy, industry and services.  Iran is one of the key crossroads of the “New Silk Roads” launched by Xi Jinping's China in 2013.
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                                    <p>Iran and China have been talking about it for several years;  it is now done: <strong>Beijing and Tehran </strong>have just signed a comprehensive 25-year strategic and economic agreement. 

Wang Yi, the head of Chinese diplomacy, took care to start his tour in the Middle East with Riyadh and Ankara. The Foreign Minister did not want to leave anything to chance and avoid a new postponement of this comprehensive Sino-Iranian partnership launched during Xi Jinping’s visit to Tehran in January 2016. Certain elements had then leaked to the press in June 2020, prompting the controversy in the region, recalls our correspondent in Beijing, Stephane Lagarde.

This agreement is important for the Iranian regime facing US sanctions, but also for Beijing, which has made Iran a milestone of ” the rebirth of the silk road As the China New Agency wrote five years ago. It was then the departure of the first Chinese train from goods destined for the Iranian market, responsible in particular for cell phones, auto parts and orthopedic devices.

Eurasia Crossroads

In the other direction, the Silk Road is that of hydrocarbons, because China is one of the main buyers of Iranian crude. Iran has acceded to the Chinese “New Silk Roads” initiative (Belt and Road Initiative or BRI) like Egypt and other Gulf States. It is also at Turkey’s doorstep, and could thus become again via the BRI, the crossroads of Eurasia.

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Last July, the New York Times asserted that Beijing was prepared to invest 400 billion dollars over 25 years in roads, ports but also telecommunications, cybersecurity and chemicals. In return, Tehran would guarantee a 30% discount on the price of oil sold to Beijing. Information not confirmed to date.

By comparison, over the period 2005-2019, China only invested $ 27 billion in Iran. Anyway, this is a ” global strategic partnership “Concluded by the two countries, and on the commercial, political and diplomatic level, it will result in a considerable strengthening of Chinese influence.

Counter Washington policy

Finally, seeing Tehran and Beijing hand in hand for a quarter of a century makes this agreement a trophy for Chinese diplomacy in a context of tensions with Europe and the United States. It comes as despite early hopes after Joe Biden came to power in the White House, the United States has still not canceled the sanctions imposed on Iran since 2018 by former US President Donald Trump.

Iran is therefore turning more and more to Asian countries, in particular China, India, but also Russia. Especially since this agreement comes in a context of tension between Beijing, Tehran and Moscow on one side and the United States on the other, recalls Siavosh Ghazi, our correspondent in Tehran.

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By giving now priority to China and Russia, Tehran thus hopes to counter the policy of Washington but also of the European countries which have put Iran under pressure, by demanding an even greater reduction of its nuclear but also ballistic program and a revision of its regional policy.

Read also : Iran-China-Russia maneuvers: “a strong enough signal” sent by Tehran

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Source site www.rfi.fr

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