Tehran-Beijing partnership is ‘a turning point’, says Iran’s ex-ambassador to UN

July 25, 2020 - 18:59

TEHRAN - The 25-year cooperation agreement between Iran and China marks a “turning point” in the development of bilateral ties, Iran’s former ambassador to the UN has said, noting that the cooperation is of “strategic” importance.

“The cooperation with China is strategic, and that the U.S. has failed to isolate Iran,” Gholamali Khoshroo told the IRIB news agency on Saturday.

He said that the 25-year cooperation plan is a roadmap for the two countries to take advantage of their capabilities to expand the regional and bilateral cooperation.

“Because of its economic position over the last two decades, China is now the second-largest economy in the world, and if it continues this way, it will become the world’s first economy,” noted the former envoy, adding that the Islamic Republic if Iran can be China’s big trade partner, given its oil and gas reserves as well as its petrochemicals.

Iran and China are negotiating over a long-term cooperation agreement that is yet to be finalized. The cabinet of Hassan Rouhani approved the draft of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan on June 21 and tasked Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with negotiating with China over the plan in order to finalize it.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on June 23 that Iran and China have drafted the plan for comprehensive partnership and it 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,” Rabiei added.

In a cabinet meeting on June 21, Rouhani elaborated on the strategic partnership, saying that the agreement is a positive step towards increasing the importance of global energy and sustainable development of oil and gas resources, as well as renewable energy and joint investment in free zones.

“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.

Khoshroo also said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can bring Iran and China closer together.

Therefore, the 25-year cooperation is a “very good opportunity,” the former top diplomat remarked.

“During the last two decades, China has made extraordinary progress in technological, industrial and knowledge-based sectors, and now it’s the largest exporter to the European Union, the U.S., Germany and Japan,” he explained.

“On the other hand, due to Iran’s strategic oil and gas reserves and its position in the Persian Gulf, we can have a very extensive cooperation with China under this agreement,” added the former envoy.

Khoshroo further said that China is no longer a closed agricultural society. Instead, he said, it’s making a very fast progress in various sectors and this is why the U.S. has adopted a confrontational policy against it.

“One of the reasons of the U.S. opposition to China is that the U.S. has reached a conclusion that China, with its current pace of progress, will become the world’s first economy within 5 years, and will surpass the U.S. after a century, ” the former diplomat pointed out.
 
He further said, “The U.S. opposes this level of cooperation between Iran and China, as it believes that with this agreement,... the Islamic Republic of Iran will further expand its ties with the international community.”

Khoshroo went further to say that the U.S. is an isolated country that keep bullying other countries.

The U.S. is saddened to see that its policies have failed, and as a result of its pressure on Iran, Tehran is making a 25-year deal with China, the former ambassador remarked, adding the U.S. also feels that its “foolish and naive plans” against Iran have gone up in smoke.

SKM/PA

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