Iran, China sign 25-year strategic cooperation deal

Tehran, Mar 27 (efe-epa).- The foreign ministers of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and China, Wang Yi, on Saturday signed a 25-year strategic, economic and political cooperation deal.

The finer details of the deal have not been published. It was signed during Wang’s visit to Tehran, where he also met President Hassan Rouhani.

The agreement stipulated Chinese investments worth $400 billion in Iranian sectors of energy and infrastructure in exchange for oil and gas supply at competitive price.

The document will “further promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China and create prosperity for the two nations,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Rouhani, meanwhile, stressed during his meeting with Wang “the need to accelerate the implementation of agreements on major infrastructure and development projects,” according to the presidency website.

The lack of details on the pact sparked controversy last year in Iran, where the government had to defend it in Parliament by saying it was in both countries’ interests.

Rumors have circulated social media that Iran would “gift” China its hydrocarbon and even a Persian Gulf island, which the government has denied.

  The road map began to take shape during a visit President Xi Jinping paid to Iran in January 2016, when 17 cooperation deals covering practically all fields were inked.

Back then, the Iranian president said that they discussed “the increase in the level of bilateral cooperation in the next 10 years to reach $600 billion.”

Xi was the first head of state to visit Iran after the country’s 2015 nuclear deal came into force.

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