Jul 09, 2020 04:54 UTC
  •  Iran, China roadmap serves interests of both nations: Senior official

President’s Chief of Staff, Mahmoud Vaezi, has brushed aside criticism about a potential 25-deal between Iran and China that seeks to expand strategic partnership between the two countries, saying those criticisms have been fueled by certain elements outside Iran with the aim to appease the enemies of the Islamic system.

“Unfortunately, a destructive line of propaganda has been initiated and directed from outside Iran against the expansion of Iran’s relations with neighbors and especially (with) China and Russia,” Vaezi was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

The senior official, a close aide to President Hassan Rouhani, said Iran is seeking to set up a roadmap for its future strategic ties with China, a move he said was absolutely normal under the current diplomatic practices.

“This roadmap in which a path is defined for expansion of relations between governments and the private sectors is signed and will continue to be signed between many countries,” said Vaezi.

The comments come as some political figures opposed to Rouhani have criticized him for negotiating a deal with China that could have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for Iran in future.

The potential deal will see China invest around $400 million in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors over a period of 25 years. In return, Iran would guarantee a stable supply of key energy products to the Chinese side. The roadmap also entails some specific terms on expansion of security and military cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking in the Iranian parliament over the weekend, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also dismissed concerns about the lack of transparency about talks related to the deal between Iran and China.

Zarif said that the administrative government led by Rouhani has nothing to hide about the potential deal as it has informed the public about any step taken along the road to get the deal finalized.