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China and Iran Close to Signing Huge Trade and Military Partnership

July 13, 2020 (EIRNS)—Iran and China have drafted a broad economic and security partnership that will make possible billions of dollars of Chinese investments in energy and other economic areas, which would undercut the Trump Administration’s attempt to isolate Iran. Such a deal was first proposed in 2016, when President Xi Jinping met with President Hassan Rouhani, as the New York Times reported July 11.

An 18-page agreement details what will be a “vastly expanded” Chinese investments in banking, telecommunications, ports, railroads, and dozens of other projects, in exchange for which China would receive a regular, heavily-discounted supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years. China imports about 75% of its oil, and is the world’s largest oil importer.

Military cooperation will increase between China and Iran, including training, exercises, weapons development, and intelligence sharing, according to the pending agreement labeled “final version” and dated June 2020. China has not disclosed any terms of the agreement, which has not yet been submitted to Iran’s Parliament, according to the Times.

The Chinese investments in Iran are said by the Times to total $400 billion over 25 years. The expansion of military assistance, training, and intelligence-sharing will be viewed with alarm in Washington, the Times writes, declaring that U.S. warships “already tangle regularly with Iranian forces in the crowded waters of the Persian Gulf.” China also offered to build the infrastructure for a 5G telecommunications network, and to offer Iran use of the new Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. They also write that China’s broad investment program in Iran “ appears to signal Beijing’s growing impatience with the Trump Administration after its abandonment of the [2015 Iran] nuclear agreement. China has repeatedly called on the administration to preserve the deal, which it was a party to, and has sharply denounced the American use of unilateral sanctions.”

The proposed partnership between China and Iran has sparked a “fierce debate” within Iran, the New York Times says. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who traveled to Beijing in October 2019 to negotiate it, faced hostile questioning from the Iranian Parliament last week. But interestingly, all the opposition mentioned in the article is identical to Western media’s lies about the Chinese “debt trap” in Africa and Asia, and Beijing’s port grabs “allowing China’s rapidly growing navy to expand its reach.”

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