By staff and agency

Proposed China-Iran deal is bad news for Israel: article

July 14, 2020 - 21:9

In an article published by The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, it is said that with the 25-year plan for cooperation between Iran and China, Israel has many reasons to be concerned and even alarmed.

“The proposed agreement, leaked to The New York Times, which reported on it on Saturday, would lead to a closer military relationship between Tehran and Beijing, including joint military exercises, research and weapons development, and intelligence sharing. It would also increase Chinese investments in Iranian banking, telecommunications, and transportation, such as airports and railways. China would reportedly get a discounted supply of Iranian oil in return,” it is said in the article.

It added the document describes the countries as “two ancient Asian countries... with a similar outlook” that “will consider one other strategic partners.”

“The agreement fits into China’s Belt and Road Initiative to build infrastructure across the world,… It also would bolster China’s new digital currency e-RMB as a way to bypass American systems and reduce the power of the dollar – another way in which the deal could hurt Israel if it comes to fruition,” it is also said in the article.

It noted, “Plus, China would gain power and influence in Iran, a diplomatic card it can play with respect to the U.S. and garner greater leverage in the [Persian] Gulf.”

Elsewhere the article said, “Another part of the deal may be a massive sale of weapons to Iran. A recent Pentagon report said China seeks to sell Iran attack helicopters, fighter jets, tanks, and more once the UN arms embargo expires in October.”

It also said that a massive influx of Chinese investments in Iran will go a long way toward undoing the U.S. policy of maximum pressure against Iran.

“Another concern is regarding Chinese companies’ involvement in infrastructure projects in Israel and Iran. This is already taking place, but the 25-year agreement would deepen those ties,” said the article.

“A Jerusalem Post investigation last month found that three of the six international groups bidding on the tender to build two lines of the Tel Aviv light rail include Chinese-owned companies that also worked on railway projects in Iran. These state-owned companies include China Railway Engineering Corporation, China Harbour Engineering Company, China Communications Construction Company, and its China Railway Construction Corporation.”

It also said, “A report by the RAND research institute this year warned that due to China’s close ties with Iran, the Chinese government could have companies share insights on Israel with Tehran to gain favor and influence. In addition, China could use the companies operating in Israel and Iran for political leverage on Israel.”

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