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Radio Farda

Iranian President and his Deputy Praise 25-Year Contract with China

By Radio Farda October 02, 2020

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is hailing the signing of a 25-year cooperative agreement between Iran and China as a "major step" in advancing Tehran and Beijing's shared interests.

Congratulating the anniversary of the People's Republic of China's establishment, Rouhani said on Thursday that the mutual agreement "will also impact the international peace and stability and be effective on confronting unilateralism."

"The conclusion of the 25-Year Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Iran and China is a giant step toward advancing common interests and countering unilateralism," Rouhani added.

Dozens of analysts, however, have harshly criticized Iranian officials for not being transparent about the long-term deal between Iran and China.

While top Iranian authorities, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have trumpeted the deal as one of their most outstanding "achievements," China has so far avoided publicly commenting on it.

In August 2019, Zarif presented a road map to his Chinese counterpart to update the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership via a 25-year deal involving a $400 billion Chinese investment in Iran.

However, most of the arrangement's fundamental specifics have been kept "classified," even though they represent a potentially material shift in the oil and gas sector's global balance.

Based on the "Looking East" policy dictated by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian government has attempted to establish long-term agreements with countries such as China and Russia, though the two nations have so far opted to remain silent spectators of Iran's development.

Joining voices with Rouhani, Iran's Vice President, Ishaq Jahangiri, also wrote in a separate message on Thursday that "the finalization and signing of a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership plan will mark a new chapter in Iran-China cooperation."

Meanwhile, Washington has cautioned against such deals. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, cited the deal in July as another reason for the importance of extending the international arms embargo against Iran.

Source: https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iranian-president- and-his-deputy-praise-25-year-contract- with-china/30870703.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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