#China and Iran reportedly working on partnership worth billions for Tehran

#China and Iran reportedly working on partnership worth billions for Tehran

July 14, 2020 | 11:13am | Updated July 14, 2020 | 11:57am

China and Iran are reportedly in the final stages of negotiating an economic and security partnership that could mean billions of dollars in investments for Tehran.

Through the agreement, Beijing would provide massive investments in banking, telecommunication, ports and railways — a huge boost for the Islamic Republic’s teetering economy — in exchange for Iran supplying oil to China over the next 25 years, according to a draft of the 18-page proposal obtained by the New York Times.

It would also allow the two countries to cooperate militarily, outlining joint training and exercises, as well as research and weapons development and intelligence sharing to fight “the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes,” the report said.

The partnership anticipated that $400 billion would be invested in Iran over the next 25 years.

Any agreement between the two countries would be a blow to the Trump administration, which has sought to isolate Iran after withdrawing from the Obama-era nuclear deal in 2018.

President Trump also reinstated sanctions against Iran in an effort to choke off its ability to gain revenue by selling oil on the global market.

“Iran and China both view this deal as a strategic partnership in not just expanding their own interests but confronting the U.S.,” Ali Gholizadeh, an Iranian energy researcher at the University of Science and Technology of China in Beijing, told the Times. “It is the first of its kind for Iran keen on having a world power as an ally.”

The State Department said China’s exploring doing business with Iran would violate international sanctions and undermine “its own goal of promoting stability and peace.”

“The United States will continue to impose costs on Chinese companies that aid Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism,” a spokeswoman wrote in a statement.

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