Long-term cooperation between Iran and China as reliable partners

Commentary (IP) - Iran's deputy foreign minister said Iran and China, as reliable partners, share a common position on the illegality of US unilateral sanctions and the importance of the rule of law in international relations.

Iran Presscommentary: In a phone conversation, Ali Baqeri-Kani and Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu stressed the need to lift sanctions against Iranian individuals, entities, and third parties and ensure that sanctions are not reimposed.

Iran's deputy foreign minister also announced that consultations between the two sides on a range of issues, especially in the international arena, would continue in the future.

Although unilateral sanctions and US pressure on Iran have not been ineffective on US-China economic relations and have created some problems in areas such as energy and banking, the ongoing consultations between Iranian and Chinese officials and the emphasis on the common ground between the two countries on many regional and international issues, including opposition to US illegal actions in the region, show the importance that Iran and China attach to continuing bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

In this regard, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on October 15 stressed the two countries' commitment to implementing a 25-year strategic agreement and considered cooperation in defense of international justice necessary.

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Despite the antiquity of the historical relations between Iran and China, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, a new chapter of relations and cooperation between the two countries began. A series of international, regional, and domestic developments have led Iran to declare a 'look to the east' policy as one of its foreign policy priorities and to take steps to expand relations with some countries such as India, Russia, and China.

China is currently the largest supplier of electronic, chemical, and industrial equipment to Iran. Iran is also one of the major oil exporters to China, and oil imports from Iran account for about 6.5% of China's total oil imports. In fact, Iran and China have similar interests in the field of energy. Supplying energy resources such as oil and gas is critical to China's economic growth, and Iran can be a sustainable supplier to China's needs.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in 2019 alone, contracts worth $3.41 billion were signed by Chinese companies to invest in Iran.

Iran and China also signed a comprehensive 25-year cooperation plan in March 2021, which should be considered the peak of dynamism in relations between the two countries. This document outlines the path of long-term cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic, and cultural fields.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and China also have common strategic and long-term interests in countering and curbing US unilateralism, which is an important factor in regional developments. In other words, the US' inaction, unilateral actions, and withdrawal from international agreements have weakened its position. In contrast, China's growing economic growth and opposition to US unilateral policies, such as opposition to its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and sanctions against Iran, have enhanced China's position in the international arena; that is why, even in the midst of strained Sino-European relations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union has a great strategic interest in maintaining cooperation with China.

Hence, the geopolitical position, the common view of the security requirements of the region, and the existence of extensive capacities for economic and trade cooperation have led Iran and China, as two influential powers in the region and the world, to expand their relations in all fields, bilaterally, and multilaterally, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which serves the interests of both countries.


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