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Iran Press TV

Iran will not give 'even a handspan' of its soil to China, any other country: Zarif

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 16 July 2020 2:54 PM

Iran's foreign minister says the Islamic Republic will not cede even "a handspan" of its soil to China or any other country, dismissing rumors and anti-Iran reports that a 25-year agreement with Beijing entails cession of some parts of the Iranian territory to Chinese contractors.

The agreement is at the "negotiation" stage, Mohammad Javad Zarif said, noting that the Foreign Ministry has obtained the required permission from the government to engage in the relevant talks. The top diplomat was speaking to ICANA News Agency, the Iranian Parliament's news outlet, in remarks that were published on Thursday.

He also addressed rumors and allegations about Iran's potential cession of Kish Island or other Persian Gulf islands to China as part of the agreement, saying, "These allegations are not true. There is not even a particle of truth to these allegations, which have been put forth."

"We have not handed over a [single square] meter of [our] land to China or any other country, nor granted any foreign country the exclusive right to take advantage of a handspan of Iran's soil, and will not do this [in the future]" he asserted.

Ali Aqa-Mohammadi, an advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, recently specified the pending arrangement as a "roadmap" that is to define the quality of the countries' strategic ties during the specified period.

Leader's aide said the roadmap is to help the two sides ditch the dollar in bilateral trade and bypass the United States' illegal and unilateral sanctions.

Aqa-Mohammadi said the arrangement solidifies the two countries' economic and defensive cooperation by protecting their dealings from "third-party intervention." He also hailed that the roadmap would help "take the [Middle East] region out of the US' hands" by pushing Washington aside, breaking its sprawling regional network apart, and frustrating its attempts at isolating Tehran.

The New York Times also recently ran an article, confirming that Iran and China were nearing conclusion of the roadmap in defiance of the US, saying the document foresees "a sweeping economic and security partnership."

Zarif said upon conclusion that the agreement will be submitted to parliament for approval, vowing that the legislature will certainly be allowed to play its role in the matter.

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