Iran-China 25-year agreement good ground for tech coop.

TEHRAN, Mar. 27 (MNA) – Iran and China signed a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership agreement on Saturday. The agreement could revive Iran's nearly forgotten place in China's Road and Belt mega project.

The first step in drafting the Iran-China 25-Year Cooperation accord, which was signed on March 27, dates back to the Chinese president's visit to Iran in January 2016, when the two sides decided to raise the level of relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. 

During that trip, Xi Jinping also met with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei, who stressed that Iran always seeks to enhance relations with independent and reliable countries such as China. Ayatollah Khamenei called the decision to sign the 25-year agreement “right” and “wise”.

The draft of the document, which was penned as the result of cooperation from different institutions in Iran, has been exchanged 4 times between Tehran and Beijing in the last 5 years, and finally, in February 2021, the Chinese side cast its final verdict on the matter and gave it the green light. 

China has signed comprehensive cooperation documents with many countries at different levels; comparatively, the position of the Iranian document is evaluated as medium-to-high, which includes the political, strategic, cultural, and economic spheres. 

Iran and China have a 50-year history of relations, and although both have benefited from a win-win situation under sanctions, the fact of the matter is that Beijing has always been considered as a "spare tire" for Iran; meaning that Tehran would only seek out Beijing when it failed to get what it wanted from the West. 

The actions of the current Iranian government have played a key role in giving rise to this attitude, although the West’s continued lack of commitment, the Establishment’s emphasis, the realistic approach of some parts of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, and the requirements of governing the country eventually led to a change in the government’s view of its relations with China. 

It seems that the Chinese have also understood this change of perspective and some recent and future developments in Iran have also been effective in their determination to finalize the agreement.

Although under the protocol, the Chinese had only requested a meeting with President Rouhani and FM Zarif, it seems that some people at the Foreign Ministry had a part in adding Ali Larijani to the list of officials that would meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. In the most optimistic scenario, this could be interpreted as a costly unwise move, but some other serious implications have been also raised. 

While Iran has been mostly left out of China’s Belt and Road megaproject, this cooperation agreement could revive Iran's nearly forgotten place. It could also be a roadmap for cooperation in the fields of energy, industry, mining, academic exchanges, political and security interactions, etc., but the country must beware of its harms as well. 

Iran is not going to be a consumption market or even the ground for the production of consumer products of Chinese industries; rather, the technology field and production of high-tech products are a good ground for cooperation between the two countries. 

News Code 171453

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