It was reported that Iran and China signed a 25-year cooperation agreement on Saturday. The move came during the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit to Tehran. According to the agreement, Iran will be part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The agreement also aims to improve economic and political relations between the two countries.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted the importance of the agreement. By this agreement, relations between the two countries have reached the level of strategic partnership, the Chinese FM said. Yi also reiterated his country’s willingness to boost relations with Iran. “Iran decides independently on its relations with other countries and is not like some countries that change their position with one phone call,” the Iranian local media quoted the Chinese Foreign Minister stated.
On the other hand, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh stated that the agreement would guide in a way for deepening bilateral relations. Khatibzadeh also said the agreement will regulate the economic aspects of the cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
The Iranian involvement in the Chinese BRI project was first brought to the agenda when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tehran in 2016.
The BRI was firstly introduced during then-president Xi Jinping’s tour, containing Central and South Asian countries, in 2013. By this agreement, China aims to expand its economic and political influence. The agreement has caused the US’ eyebrows to raise.
Since China has frequently raised its voice against the US sanctions imposed on Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has called China “a friend for hard times.”