Iran highlights ‘special importance’ of strategic relations with China

April 9, 2021 - 21:10

TEHRAN – Establishing strategic relations with China has been of special importance for Iran, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh has said as Tehran and Beijing concluded a 25-cooperation plan on March 27.

In an Instagram post published on Wednesday, Khatibzadeh elaborated on certain points concerning the Iran–China 25-year cooperation document.

In his post, Saeed Khatibzadeh described China as economic heavyweight.

“As a major power having an economy with a top global rating, China has signed and is signing comprehensive cooperation agreements as well as major trade contracts with different countries, from the US and Europe to Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region as well as countries in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Far East,” he wrote.

“For Iran, too, strategic relations with China have been of special importance,” he added.

“The enhancement of relations with Iran up to the level of strategic partnership was also a priority for China, which was realized during the Chinese president’s trip to Iran,” he added.

“As a player with a role in international relations, Iran naturally cannot succumb to pressure caused by the United States’ cruel sanctions when delineating its development programs, and seizes every opportunity to promote its policies,” the spokesman noted.

“It goes without saying that the attempts we make on this path are not favourable to those who want Iran to give in or to be isolated; so, they hastily put on their agenda plans to distort [realities] and launch propaganda campaigns against such agreements as the same thing happened with this case (Iran-China cooperation)."

“The Iran-China Cooperation Program is a roadmap for cooperation which can benefit Iran and its people if it enters the practical phase and particularly lead to economic agreements between those working in different sectors,” he said.

“The short video which has been prepared is a glimpse at what is included in the agreement and probably at what is not included therein,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the plan on March 27, raising Tehran-Beijing relations in various fields to a new, strategic level.

“The document focuses on the capacities and perspectives for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various areas including economic and cultural fields, among others. We believe this document will further contribute to the continued development and comprehensive partnership of Iran and China, and will bring about prosperity for the two nations,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following the signing of the document.

The plan, officially known as the “Comprehensive Cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China,” was extensively hailed by almost all Iranian officials as a “strategic” decision, though they somehow differed on the underlying reasons behind cementing ties with China. 

Early negotiations over the plan date back to 2016 when Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to Iran during which China and Iran announced the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership, according to Chinese Ambassador to Iran Chang Hua. Since then, Chang had told the Tehran Times, exchanges and cooperation in various fields of the two countries have become increasingly close.