Iran, China sign long-term cooperation agreement

Iran and China have inked a long-term cooperation agreement in Tehran, the state television reported.

The comprehensive agreement signed on Saturday by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, aims to expand bilateral cooperation in various fields in the next 25 years, DPA news agency reported.

The agreement paves the way for billions in Chinese investment in Tehran, and in return, Iran wants to supply oil to Beijing at favourable prices. Military cooperation is also part of the plans.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described cooperation with China as strategic and said that the new agreement will deepen this partnership even further. “We want China to be a major trading partner,” he said during his meeting with Wang Yi on Saturday.

Iran is facing a crippling economic crisis due to sanctions imposed by the US in 2018, which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. With US President Joe Biden seemingly unwilling to lift sanctions in the short term, the government in Tehran has been aligning itself more closely with Russia and China.