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China and Iran signed a strategic cooperation pact.

Image Credit: Iranian Presidential website/Handout

On Saturday, China and Iran, both under US sanctions, signed a ‘strategic cooperation pact’, expanding China’s influence into the Middle East. The negotiations for the agreement started five years ago, stirring controversy in Iran. No details were revealed.

China is the biggest trade partner of Iran, as it is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, before Donald Trump introduced sanctions on Iran after repelling the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Foreign Ministers of China and Iran, Wang Yi and Mohammad Javad Zarif respectively included, ‘political, strategic and economic’ components.

We believe this document can be very effective in deepening Iran-China relations.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

It is believed that China will ensure to safeguard Iran’s nuclear deal and also defend the interests of Sino-Iranian relations. In recent months, China purchased a huge amount of Iranian oil, in a move that shows their commitment to Sino-Iranian relations, despite China denying its purchase of oil from Iran, by marking the Iranian oil as supplies from other countries.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani thanked Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for China’a effort to restore Iranian nuclear deal and confronting ‘American unilateralism’. The President also said that together they can fight ‘terrorism and extremism in the region’.

The two countries’ cooperation to implement the JCPOA and implementing commitments by European countries is very important and can change the current situation.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Chinese FM Wang Yi talked about maintaining the 2015 nuclear deal.

The new US administration wants to rethink its policy and return to the JCPOA. China welcomes that.

Chinese FM Wang Yi.

China and Iran also cooperated on COVID-19 as Iran is struggling with the number of cases. Last month, China donated 250,000 doses of its locally produced Sinopharm vaccine to Iran.

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