Tehran (FT) – Iran’s Cabinet reviewed and approved the final draft of the 25-year roadmap for Iran-China strategic relations during a regular meeting on Monday.
The Foreign Ministry was tasked with conducting the final rounds of negotiations with the Chinese side and make arrangements for the signing of the document by the two countries based on long-term mutual interests, President.ir reported.
President Hassan Rouhani said at the meeting that the primary purpose of this plan is to promote bilateral strategic cooperation at regional and international levels using a win-win approach.
“This plan prepares the ground for Iran-China collaboration in key projects and infrastructural development, including the great Belt and Road Initiative. It is an opportunity to attract investment in different economic sectors such as industry, tourism, information technology and communications,” he said.
Belt and Road is a global development strategy promoted by the Chinese government.
Iran prepared the 25-year roadmap for strategic relations with China and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif presented it to Chinese authorities during his visit to Beijing in early 2019. The document outlines a vision for long-term cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.
Rouhani said enhancing opportunities for nations to derive shared benefits is a plausible way of improving regional and international security.
“Linking security and development through multilateralism will guarantee the peace and progress of human society,” he said.
Rouhani highlighted longstanding relations between the two countries in multiple sectors, stressing the “strategic importance” of new equations in Tehran-Beijing ties.
“The two sides have always stressed the need to enhance strategic cooperation and today, both countries are in a suitable condition to take bigger steps along this line,” he said.
China is Iran’s major trade partner and a large consumer of Iranian crude oil. It is also a party to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, from which the United States unilaterally withdrew last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
Beijing has defied US policies and voiced support for Iran’s rights under the nuclear agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Along with Russia, China has expressed vocal opposition to the US campaign to extend the United Nations arms embargo on Iran, which is to expire in October as per the terms of JCPOA, along with a probable push to trigger a return of all sanctions on Tehran at the UN Security Council.
“The US has no right to extend an arms embargo on Iran, let alone to trigger snapback,” China’s UN mission had said.
It took an even stronger stance in support of Iran last week when France, Britain, and Germany submitted a draft resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, calling on Iran to stop denying the agency access to two old sites and to cooperate fully with it.
Iran has not allowed IAEA inspectors into the sites, arguing that the case was based on inadmissible Israeli claims.
While Russia told the board it saw no need for a resolution, China voiced clear opposition, prompting the board’s chairwoman to call an in-person meeting for further discussion after four days of meeting online due to the spread of the coronavirus.
“Certain countries, while pushing ahead the draft resolution, have denied the peril of such a move. This is a classic case in point of an ostrich policy, totally irresponsible,” China said in a statement to the board.
It said pressing what it called a “non-urgent” issue with a resolution could eventually lead to action by the UN Security Council and “the ultimate termination” of the nuclear deal.
The resolution was finally adopted in a vote on Friday. China and Russia opposed the measure while seven out of 35 nations abstained.
This post originally ran on Financial Times, a private-owned Iranian business newspaper in English, reporting stories about Iran’s economy. Featured photo: Tasnim News Agency.