China and Iran have started implementing their 25-year accord from this week and that envisaged economic and security cooperation and development in these fields.
Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, in his first visit to China, Friday announced after talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Under this accord, China will make multi-billion dollars investment in Iran which will be in addition to long-term purchase of Iranian oil.
Under this agreement, China has started importing oil from Iran.
"While preparing for the visit to China, we had made preparations to be able to mark today as the starting day of implementing the comprehensive agreement between the two countries," Amirabdollahian said.
Signed in Tehran on March 27, 2021, when former President Hassan Rouhani was in office, the "strategic accord" entails economic, military and security cooperation, even as both countries are under different levels of United States sanctions.
The landmark China-Iran comprehensive cooperation agreement, signed in March last year and which moved into its implementation phase on Friday, will see the two countries expand cooperation on energy, infrastructure, production capacity, science and technology, and medicine and health care, according to a statement from China's foreign ministry.
Bilateral cooperation will also be expanded to third-party markets, and in areas including agriculture, fisheries and cybersecurity, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, according to the statement that did not give further details.
During his visit, Amirabdollahian also delivered a letter by President Ebrahim Raisi for President Xi Jinping, which he said contained an "important message" for Raisi's administration.
He did not elaborate on the contents, but the Raisi administration has repeatedly emphasised an "Asia-centric" foreign policy that includes China as an important factor.
The Iranian foreign minister landed there shortly after China's Yi held talks with the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the foreign ministers of four of its member countries - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain - in addition to the Turkish foreign minister.
As for the ongoing talks in Vienna on Iran's nuclear deal with a number of western countries within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he appreciated the positive role of the Chinese envoy who, together with his Russian counterpart, stood up to defend Iran's nuclear talks and the need for removal of anti-Iran sanctions.
Amirabdollahian went on to hope that the western parties of the JCPOA would adopt a realistic view with the objective of reaching a good agreement that would entail the rights and interests of the Iranian nation.
Highlighting the absence of any initiatives by the western countries in Vienna talks, the Iranian foreign minister said both the EU countries and the US offer good rhetoric in their non-paper messages but fail to offer any true initiatives in practice.
China has become Iran's lifeline since Washington reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, the South China Morning News (SCMN) said Saturday, adding:
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