Amidst US Sanctions, China-Iran Sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement
By signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement with Iran, China has been promoted from a local hegemonistic power to a world power. The deal that was signed in Iran’s capital is said to be worth $400 billion and last over a period of 25 years.
From Iran the representative was Java Zarif who is the Foreign Minister of the country. Wag Yi who is the Chinese Foreign Minister signed the deal on behalf of China.
The Chinese minister as part of his trip to Middle East stopped over in Tehran for two days. It was during this time that the agreement between Iran and China was also signed.
It is sine 2016 when the Xi Jinping visited Iran that talks regarding this massive deal have been going on. It is said to increase the countries mutual trade to $600 billion over the next ten years.
Details regarding the terms of the China-Iran agreement is yet to be published. However, it is predicted that China will increase its investments in key sectors of Iran. This would include infrastructure and energy in supplement to the military cooperation.
It is pertinent to note that China and Iran move towards building strong ties just as US buries the two under various sanctions.
Tensions between US and Iran have been on a rise due to various political and economic reasons. Few of those being US abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US complaining that Iran shot down a drone in International airspace. This was followed by Iran pushing back on Trump’s assertion that US shot down an Iranian drone. A big factor behind all these assertions and accusations is the Iranian economy. Decades of US sanctions have decimated it and in 2019 Iran grew more and more desperate.
While the US has now shown its willingness to renew trade ties with Iran, it has nonetheless refused to lift trade sanctions. According to Biden Administration Iran first needs to accomplish its previous commitments that it didn’t fulfil as a result of the US sanctions.
When it comes to trade policies, sanctions are the most used tool in the US’s tool box. US has had a history of using sanctions as a means of penalizing and punishing countries.
US imposed sanctions on China in 2020 as an answer to the human rights violation in Tibet and Hong Kong and Uyghur genocide.
As rivalry between the two super powers intensifies, this deal between Iran and China will definitely increase competition between world’s largest economies.
However, the 25 year deal will help Iran rise above the economic crisis it has been facing owing to the US sanctions. Iran and China have also shown a lot of cooperation to each other in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. China is still extending its support to Iran in the form of supply of Sinopharm vaccine. Just last month China delivered 250,000 doses of the vaccine.