March 30, 2021 – 08:18
China has pledged to invest $ 400 billion in Iran over the next 25 years.
The foreign ministers of the two countries, Wang Yi and Javad Zarif, signed an agreement on March 27, in Tehran.
Under the deal, Iran has offered steady oil supplies in exchange for Chinese investment.
“China strongly supports Iran in maintaining its state sovereignty and national dignity,” Wang said during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rohani.
He also called on the United States to lift economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
China has become a lifeline for Iran’s economy, and ties between the two countries have warmed in recent years as both have gone through intensified diplomatic and economic confrontations with the West.
The administration of former US President Donald Trump has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran because of its nuclear and missile program.
Trump has pulled the US out of a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, including China.
His successor, Joe Biden, is continuing with this harsh policy, but is also signaling a willingness to revive the nuclear deal.
While the Chinese deal with Iran is about advancing Beijing’s regional and global ambitions as a leading power, it also diminishes Washington’s efforts to keep Iran isolated and improves Beijing’s position ahead of any future negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
“China wants to show that it’s essential to solving some of the world’s most acute problems,” Daniel Markey, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of The China Horizon, told Radio Free Europe.
“Beijing tries to portray itself as an equal mediator, while portraying the US as the most problematic global player,” he said.
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