‘Iran-China relations are strong’

July 17, 2020 - 19:48

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday that relations between Iran and China are “strong” and enemies seek to undermine the ties.

Iran and China plan to sign a 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement. The document has not been finalized yet. 

“Relations between Iran and China are relations between independent countries and have many ill-wishers. This document is a roadmap… our view on this document is long-term,” Mousavi told a press conference in Ardabil, northwest Iran.

Iranian Ambassador to China Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh said on July 11 that the hype created against a long-term partnership agreement between Iran and China is “farcical”.

In an interview with IRNA, he 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.

“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.

Iran warns South Korea to return its frozen money

Mousavi also warned Seoul to return its money which is blocked in South Korea due to the U.S. sanctions.

“South Korea has blocked Iran’s money under the pretext of cruel sanctions on Iran by a rogue state. This behavior is not acceptable, because relations between these two counties [South Korea and the U.S.] has nothing to do with us,” he stated.

Iran is escalating pressure on the East Asian country to release about $7 billion of oil-export revenues, arguing that Seoul is buckling to pressure from its U.S. ally and illegally withholding funds needed to counter the coronavirus outbreak.

Iran is the hardest hit country by the coronavirus in West Asia. 

In late June, central bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati said Iran will take back its dollars from South Korea through legal and international methods.

The official also expressed hope that the South Korean government would abide by its commitments and not block access to those funds under the pretext of the U.S. sanctions.

Earlier this month, the Chairman of Iran-South Korea Joint Chamber of Commerce Hossein Tanhaei announced that the Asian country has agreed to unblock part of Iran’s frozen money which is kept by Seoul due to the U.S. sanctions.

"Based on the agreement with the Korean side the money is not going to be returned in cash but in the form of medical and pharmaceutical items," Tanhaei said.

There have been no talks on the return of the money in cash, however, it is possible that after the first part is released, Iran will gradually move towards the imports of food and livestock feed, Tanhaei explained.


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