Iranian envoy calls hype against partnership agreement with China ‘farcical’

July 11, 2020 - 16:30

TEHRAN – The Iranian Ambassador to China, Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, said on Saturday that the hype created against a long-term partnership agreement between Iran and China is “farcical”.

In an interview with IRNA, Keshavarz-Zadeh said that the commotion is guided by certain TV channels based in the West and countries which do not want a growing of Iran’s relations with other countries.

Officials in Tehran have said the 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement between Iran and China has not been finalized yet. 

“Countries like the United States which has imposed cruel sanctions on us and has even blocked our money in other countries such as Japan and South Korea and prevent us from using it to purchase medicine and food are making claims which are farcical,” the ambassador stated.

He added, “Claims about leasing some islands to the Chinese or deploying Chinese military forces in Iran are farcical and negative propaganda.”

The diplomat also noted that the U.S. has made any effort to isolate Iran and cripple its economy and obviously opposes partnership agreement with China.

Elsewhere, he said that the cooperation plan is a “roadmap” to expand ties and cooperation.

“The roadmap we prepare for relations with China is a lamp which shows the path. Within the framework of this agreement, we will not just import commodities; development of the country’s infrastructure in land, air and space areas is included in the 25-year plan,” Iran’s top diplomat to Beijing stated.

Ambassador added, “All details of the plan have been studied by experts in various ministries and the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament). It will not be accepted if any part of it runs contrary to the country’s interests.”

He also said that China has a growing economy and all countries are interested in expanding relations with China.

Iranian presidential chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi said on Wednesday that foreign media outlets have created a commotion over the draft agreement between Iran and China.

Vaezi said the partnership cooperation is a “conventional agreement”.

“This document is a conventional document to strengthen relations between the (two) countries,” he told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

He noted that speculation has been spread in social networks claiming “something like leasing Kish or Qeshm [islands to China]. This [hype] is being supported from outside. Our executive bodies are making efforts to make everything transparent.”

Also, the secretariat of the Supreme Council of Iran’s Free Trade, Industrial, and Special Economic Zones announced on Wednesday that Iran will not lease any port to China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday that the 25-year plan for cooperation is “honorable”, calling relations “strategic”.

“We have prepared draft of a strategic document with China and we are holding consultations with the other side and nothing has been finalized yet. Negotiations about this document shows that we have strategic ties and this document shows a 25-year prospect. There has been a hype against this issue in social media, however, this document is honorable,” Mousavi said in a press conference in Isfahan.

He added that when the talks are finalized, the parliament should approve the document and there is nothing secretive.

“It is predicted that China will turn into the first economic power in the world in near future. We should not pay attention to elements of the Zionist regime [of Israel] in the United States and the anti-revolutionary elements,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday that Iran has not signed an agreement to lease land or port to China, noting there is nothing secretive in the cooperation plan.

“There is nothing secretive in this respect. It was discussed in the latest visit by Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad Zarif] to China and was also discussed in a meeting between Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] with President of China [Xi Jinping]. When any agreement is reached, it will be announced,” Rabiei said during a press conference.

He also said, “Division into West and East has no status in our foreign policy. The Islamic Republic does not limit itself and is ready to cooperate with all countries. Our only limitations are the Zionist regime and those who impose sanctions.”

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 plan is based on a win-win approach which “heralds long term cooperation”.

NA/PA

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