Iran-China 25-years agreement, an attempt to save the regime
Addressing an open session of the Iranian Majlis on Sunday, July 5th , Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Rouhani’s government said, “there is nothing secret in the 25-year deal between Iran and China”, adding “Tehran will make the contents of the agreement public”.
This statement came in response to a report by a conservative News Website revealing that the administration has approved a 25-year deal with China and that Zarif was tasked to finalize the agreement.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Former Iranian President, whom his followers have gained several seats in the new Majlis, rejected the secret Iran-China deal and demanded clarification prior to Zarif’s appearance in Majlis.
One of the significant elements of the deal would be a 280 billion Dollars Chinese investment in Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors, as well as a 120 billion Dollar investment in Iran’s transport and manufacturing infrastructure. Chinese companies will be given the first option to bid on any new project in Iran.
On the payment terms, China will be given up to 32% discount in the oil and gas prices. In addition, China will be granted up to two years delayed payment and to pay in soft currencies from businesses in Africa and the Former Soviet Union states.
Another element of the deal is that up to 5000 Chinses security personnel will be allowed into Iran to protect Chinese projects and benefits.
In exchange, China is expected to veto any United Nation Security Council resolutions against Iran.
The news about the Iran-China 25-year agreement sparked lots of frustration among Iranians across the globe. Iranians are comparing this agreement with the Turkman Chay agreement between Russia and Iran in 1828, where Iran lost around 250 kilometers of land (parts of current Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) and access to the Caspian Sea. In exchange Russia promised to support king Abbas Mirza at the time.
In response to public frustration, Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, issued a statement defending the deal and considering China the world’s leading economic power in the near future!
One of the 1979 revolution’s cornerstones was the slogan “Neither Eastern, Nor Western, Islamic Republic of Iran”. This slogan is designed into the Iranian Foreign Ministry logo and is also seen on their office front doors. However, today, the mullahs ruling Iran are leaning towards East, selling out Iran’s natural resources not only to China but also to Russia.
The current rulers are willing to give up Iran’s oil and gas with 32% discount and 2 years delayed payment and allow China to be the first to bid and eventually control Iran’s transport and manufacturing infrastructure in a 400 billion dollar contract. China will also be granted a strong military presence as part of the agreement. This could sound like a good deal to China, but the two questions China will ask itself is: will this regime stay in power long enough to make China’s investment profitable? And will any democratically elected future Iranian government respect such agreement?