Zarif says he met with General Soleimani every week

No hidden issue in Iran-China agreement, Zarif says

July 5, 2020 - 22:44

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that there is no “hidden issue” in the long-term comprehensive agreement between Iran and China.

“The agreement was discussed in the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei]. We announced the issue to the people. In last year’s visit, I took this agreement to China and it was announced. When China responded to our draft, we announced it and when China accepted negotiation with us, the issue was announced,” Zarif told an open session of the parliament.

The foreign minister said the details will be announced when the agreement is “finalized”. 

He added, “There is transparency in our behavior, however, the truth is that power in the world is shifting (to the East) and we should know the realities of the international situation and take action in the post-West world.”

Zarif said the revival of the Silk Road is included in the agreement.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on June 23 that Iran and China have drafted a 25-year plan for comprehensive cooperation which proves failure of the plots to isolate the Islamic Republic.

“This plan proves failure of the United States’ policies to isolate Iran, sever Iran’s relations with the international community and also to harm Iran’s will to expand relations with other countries,” Rabiei said during a press conference.

He said that the 25-year plan is based on a win-win approach which “heralds long term cooperation”.

“Recognizing cultural commonalities, encouraging multilateralism, supporting equal rights of the nations and insisting on domestic development are parts of this plan,” the government spokesman explained.

In a meeting on June 21, the cabinet of ministers approved the final draft of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan between Iran and China.

Rouhani said the strategic partnership between the two countries is based on a win-win approach.

“This cooperation is a ground for Iran and China’s participation in basic projects and development of  infrastructure, including the large ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, and an opportunity to attract investment in various economic fields, including industry, tourism, information technology and communication,” the presidential website quoted Rouhani as saying.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on June 29 that the 25-year Iran-China comprehensive cooperation plan has not been finalized yet.

However, he said, the content of this “agreement will be published once it is finalized.”

Mousavi dismissed claims of any new negotiation about the cooperation plan.

He said, “This document is in line with the interests of the two countries and it is an honorable.”

‘U.S. actions are economic terrorism’

Answering questions by MPs, Zarif also said that the United States’ actions against Iran are economic terrorism.

“The United States is making efforts to impose a situation on Iran through economic war and economic terrorism and not sanctions. The United States’ actions are economic bullying or the same economic terrorism,” he said.

Zarif said in March that the U.S. “economic terrorism” on Iran has been expanding to the new level of “medical terrorism” which is not even permissible on the battlefield.

‘It is essential to maintain internal integrity’

Zarif also attached great importance to necessity of maintaining internal integrity and avoiding domestic clashes over foreign policy.

“Foreign policy is not the area of factional clashes. That is why according to the constitution, foreign policy is within the authority of the Leader who sets general policies of the system in the sphere of foreign policy. It means avoiding internal clashes over the foreign policy,” the chief diplomat remarked.

Elsewhere, Zarif attached importance to expanding relations with neighboring countries.

‘Iran has made achievements in ditching dollar’

Zarif also said that Iran has made achievements in ditching the U.S. dollar in its foreign transactions.

He cited use of barter system to ease up pressure caused by illegal U.S. sanctions as an example.

“One of the issues that reduces the pressure of sanctions is the elimination of the dollar from transactions, which we were pursuing through the use of the barter system and many countries have joined it,” Press TV quoted him as saying.

Zarif says he had best relations with Gen. Soleimani

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said that he had best relations with Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“I met with him every week,” he said.

General Soleimani was martyred near Baghdad’s international airport in a U.S. terrorist attack on January 3.

In retaliation, on January 8 Iran fired ballistic missiles at a U.S. military base in western Iraq, shattering the U.S. image as the greatest power in the world.

Iran was the first country to target a U.S. military position in the world since the Second World War. 
 
 NA/PA

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