The 25-year “comprehensive strategic partnership” between Iran and China is the main news in Iran at the moment. Iran watchers believe the dictatorship in Iran would never make any agreement in favor of its people.
Meanwhile, Iran’s people by protesting this agreement gave their answer to this dishonor to Iran’s history. They ridiculed it and likened it to the Turkmenchay contract in 1828 between Iran and Russia and a betrayal of national interests.
But as was expected by the regime, the authorities are making things worse and have no respect for the country and the people. Dissidents say the country is a victim of the authorities’ greed, crime, and plundering policies.
On March 29, Mojtaba Zonnour, head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran’s Parliament, in an interview defending this contract said: “The principle of this approach is correct, and we are working with Russia to make such an approach happen. If we reduce the pressures of the West with these measures, they will also come to the conclusion that they will not deprive themselves of the market of our 80-100 million people.”
In justifying this infamous contract, he claimed that the behavior of powers such as China and Russia have been different from that of the United States and Europe over the years. Defending the Chinese, he added:
“The Chinese are determined to invest in our oil. Our oil compositions are different from those of other countries such as Qatar, the UAE and Iraq, and each refinery has a separate mechanism for consuming one type of crude oil. China currently consumes more than 10 million barrels of oil per day, so if it wants to build a refinery that consumes Iranian oil, it must invest heavily in the long run with confidence.”
“In such a situation, it is natural that the Chinese are worried that if Iran-West relations improve tomorrow and Iran does not sell oil to the Chinese, their investment in Iran will not be productive.”
He added: “The document envisions the Chinese making ‘special investments’ in the free zones and providing development infrastructure in these areas to make them areas for ‘free-exporting goods’, as unfortunately our free zones are currently attracting less than 2.5 percent of foreign capital in a year, which is due to the lack of infrastructure in these areas. The Chinese have pledged to make special investments in these areas.”
Yet none of the regime’s officials seem to mention about what they are giving away to the Chinese in a quid pro quo.
The state-run daily Arman on March 28 wrote: “China is not paying our demands now and claims that it is not possible to return the money because of the sanctions. So how can we trust them to invest $460 billion in Iran, and what are these investments like?
“Is it up to the Chinese side to choose where to invest and how much and in what field, or to the Iranian side? How much of the percentage of the capital they invest is interest, and what is China’s share of the investment? Is it just an investor and then takes the principal of its capital and interest or is it a partner in the investment? These are just some of the points that are raising questions, referring to the content. Who knows, for example, whether to invest in oil or in the metro of 10 metropolitan areas? With what currency does this money come into the country? Dollars or yuan? These are all questions that need to be answered.”
“Why is the foreign ministry concluding a contract? Article 77 of the Constitution explicitly states that treaties, agreements, and international agreements must be approved by Parliament. What is the right definition of the document that was signed yesterday? Is it a treaty, a contract or an international agreement?”
And now they are speaking about similar contracts with the Russians.
This state media added: “We may have problems with Russia in the past, and sometimes this country has cooperated with the sanctions, but the reality in foreign policy is that over the last decades, we did not see the overthrowing look of Americans and Westerners, not in Russia and not in China.
“Russia, China, and some Eastern countries, like us, are victims of sanctions, and we have a kind of common problem, and these common problems reinforce the need for interaction and cooperation. In fact, when Russia and China themselves are under US sanctions, they seek allies to develop their relationship and warmly shake hands with anyone.
“We have to accept that the lifting of sanctions is not in our hands, so in addition to pursuing a strategy of lifting sanctions, we must mainly focus on the strategy of neutralizing sanctions and making them less effective, because we do not have the opportunity to lift sanctions, but we have to make them less effective.
“Of course, we do not claim that others, including the Chinese, are sympathetic to us and have entered to this in a sense of duty, but the fact is that China and Russia are not hostile to us and have entered into a win-win relationship on a profit-oriented basis, and we are seeking our own interests.”