China and Iran launch 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement | Iranian media says U.S. hegemony is over

On January 15, the website of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Wuxi, Jiangsu on the 14th. The two sides announced the launch of the implementation of the comprehensive cooperation plan between the two countries. .

Comprehensive media reported on January 16 that as soon as the above news came out, it quickly attracted the attention of the international media.

Among them, the Iranian side showed a welcoming attitude. Abdullahyan, who attended the meeting, said talks between China and Iran on expanding bilateral ties had made “very good progress”. Iran’s ambassador to China, Keshavarzzadeh, said on social media that the launch of the implementation of the comprehensive cooperation plan between the two countries is one of the “important outcomes” of the trip.

Press TV, the English-language media responsible for Iran’s external publicity, even wrote this title: China-Iran Agreement, the end of Washington’s hegemony?

The “Wall Street Journal” published a long article interpreting the talks between China and Iran, saying that Iran is currently trying to strengthen relations with China, Russia and other countries to help it “bypass” US sanctions and restore its own economy. In 2018, after the Trump administration of the United States unilaterally announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and re-sanctioned Iran, China has become an important economic line for Iran. The 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement signed by the two parties in March 2021 is an important symbol.

According to previous reports by foreign media such as The New York Times and Bloomberg, although the specific content of the agreement has not been announced, a person familiar with the agreement said that the details of the agreement are basically similar to the content of the documents disclosed the previous year: China will invest in Iran in the next 25 years. Dozens of sectors such as telecommunications, infrastructure, worth as much as $400 billion, and will receive regular oil supplies from Iran.

China will import at least 590,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran on average in 2021, the highest level since sanctions were reinstated, data from commodities data provider Kpler showed.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will also visit Russia in the near future.

Iran’s foreign ministry said it expected to sign a 20-year cooperation agreement during the visit to boost trade and military ties.

The Wall Street Journal, however, exaggerated the power of U.S. sanctions. It is unclear how much risk China and Russia will “take” for Iran as the U.S. continues to impose sanctions, the report said.

The article is concerned that Iran is making deals with several other countries in Asia to exchange oil and gas for the products it needs. Iran signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to trade oil for tea and other items from Sri Lanka. In November 2021, Iran signed a similar deal with Pakistan to trade natural gas for rice. Iranian officials say they are also negotiating domestic housing infrastructure with Turkish companies on the condition of oil and gas.

Reuters also reported that China and Iran signed a 25-year cooperation agreement to include Iran in China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan. The plan, which aims to “significantly expand” China’s economic and political influence, has drawn “extensive attention” in the United States and other countries.

On the other hand, China’s statement criticizing the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA has also attracted the attention of Western media. “With signing of cooperation agreement, China slams U.S. sanctions on Iran,” Reuters wrote in a headline.

The article mentioned that the United States took the lead in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions that severely damaged Iran’s economy, claiming that these provisions were insufficient to curb Iran’s nuclear activities, ballistic missile programs and regional influence. A year later, Iran began to gradually violate the agreement, rebuilding its stockpile of enriched uranium and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up output.

The Wall Street Journal did not mention that the United States was the first to withdraw from the nuclear deal, instead accusing Iran of “probably developing the technology to make nuclear weapons.”