Iran and China have agreed to develop a 25-year roadmap for strategic partnership, with the idea first conceived in the 1990s, but the two sides have yet to finalize it for implementation.
According to Press TV, relations between Iran and China go as far back as the ancient Silk Road, but they are gaining strategic significance because the West’s refusal to work with Iran under the US pressure and its efforts to clip China’s wings and stop its economic and political rise is automatically pushing Tehran and Beijing into an alliance of sorts.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, American businesses have been prevented from trade with Iran, while their European counterparts have withdrawn amid US threat of sanctions. That has helped Chinese companies move in and fill the void.
As a result, Iran and China have forged a unique partnership which is almost impossible or not easily viable with any other country.
China is still Iran’s biggest oil client despite Washington’s bid to bring Tehran’s exports down to zero. The oil money is deposited in Chinese banks, and the assets are used to fund development projects carried out in the Islamic Republic.
No US or European bank currently processes Iran-related transactions, making Beijing an ideal trade partner for Tehran.
For China, it cannot get any better. As the rising Asian giant is pushing a trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, Iran is regaining its glorious significance of the ancient days when it connected Asia to Europe and Africa through land routes.
Iran’s rail sector had become a magnet for rail engineering and rolling stock firms from all over the world before US sanctions in 2018 forced them to withdraw. The pullout left the Chinese with a less contested business terrain.