Iran trying to normalize commercial ties with Intl. community

TEHRAN, Jul. 15 (MNA) –Referring to Iran and China 25-year cooperation document, Dr. Zaccara believes Iran is trying to normalize its commercial ties with International community and benefit from it at least in the short and mid-term.

In a meeting on June 21, Iran's cabinet of ministers approved the final draft of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan between Iran and China.

On July 5, came the announcement of the Iranian FM Zarif about Iran-China negotiations over a 25-year so-called 'accord', which as he put into words is "clear and the two countries have nothing to hide about it."

During the past week, however, some claims and reports were made by some specific foreign-based media lashing out at the Islamic Republic.

The unfounded claims about the issue argued for example, that under this 25-year cooperation, Iran is to hand over Kish Island to China in exchange for military, regional and international support or some named the cooperation a 'secretive deal'. 

Rumors are still going around despite the explanations offered by the Iranian officials asserting that the plan for strategic cooperation between Iran and China would be designed on equal footing, on the basis of common views, and with the purpose of supporting multilateralism.

Domestically, there have also been some disputes about the issue. Zarif is to attend Parliament commission’s session on Sunday evening (July 12), to answer the lawmakers' questions about the 25-year cooperation document with China.

To shed more light on the issue we reached out to Dr. Luciano Zaccara, a research assistant professor at Qatar University.  

Here is the full text of the interview:

Will this agreement promote two countries' partnership to the level of strategic?

Certainly, this agreement will promote bilateral relations in a much profound way than ever before, but mainly at economic and commercial levels. It is difficult to predict if that will bring more political or strategic concordances among both states, since no military element seems to be included in the deal, as far as we know the Iranian government denied any presence of Chinese military forces in Iran soil included in the deal, and because China was never interested in such kind of relations with its partners in the region. On the other hand, this 25-year agreement has been signed by an administration that is about to finish in one year, and it would be difficult to foresee which attitude the next administration will have regarding the deal, since many critics have been raised from different sectors, mainly hardliners.

Will this agreement affect China's relations with other PGCC member states?

China has cordial relations with most of Iran’s neighboring countries without any political conditionality. Chinese authorities usually visit Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the same tours, without this having had any implications in the bilateral relations between China and every one of them. Since China is not interfering in the internal issues of the Persian Gulf states, neither in the relations between them, those states do not ask China to take sides in the different disputes that exist in the region. Therefore, I don´t see a closer relation with Iran would affect China’s relations with Saudi Arabia for instance.

Can this agreement reduce the US maximum pressure policy's effect on Iran?

It will depend on how China manages the coming pressure from the US to make this agreement meaningless for the Iranian economy. If Trump succeeds in doing that the same way it did it with the European Union efforts to make INSTEX be a successful tool to allow Iranian trade, therefore the impact of the maximum pressure would not be neutralized. But if China is able to prevent US pressure, certainly Iran's economy can benefit from the deal at least in the short and mid-term. However, I doubt the Iranians are really interested in relying their economy’s future only in this China agreement. Iran’s aspirations include the normalization of commercial ties with the broader international community, including the European Union and other regions.

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 160911

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