Representatives from China and Iran signed a 25-year agreement on Saturday. It aims to shore up the nations’ economic and political alliance with a focus on the private sector. Ahead of the signing ceremony, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described China’s relationship with Iran as “permanent and strategic.”
The treaty brings Iran into China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a multi-trillion-dollar land and water infrastructure project that critics view as a disturbing expansion of Chinese influence made worse by the debt diplomacy involved. The agreement also promises additional coronavirus vaccines to Iranian citizens, significant Chinese investment in Iranian energy, and increased trade and military cooperation.
China also supports Iran’s plan to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an Obama-era deal that was supposed to end Iran’s nuclear program.
“Cooperation between the two countries is very important for the implementation of the nuclear accord and the fulfillment of obligations by European countries,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The JCPOA has languished since 2018, when former President Donald Trump pulled the US from the deal and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran. President Joe Biden wants to rejoin the deal, but has not moved to lift the sanctions.
“Under the new administration, the Americans want to reconsider their policy and return to the nuclear accord, and China welcomes their move,” said Wang.
Author’s Note: China and Iran both faced intense pressure from the US during the Trump Administration and are now joining forces. This deal is the latest example of the Chinese takeover. It will also put nukes into the hands of the Iranian government. With Biden in office, we have no way to prevent this. We can expect Israel to be Iran’s first target.