SETH J. FRANTZMAN – 12 July 2020
Since early July 2020 there has been increased interest in a China-Iran agreement that could be part of a wider 25-year strategic deal. This has become a controversy within Iranian media. Here is a look at some of the sources and notes on the wider alleged deal.
July 3 Tasnim headline – Tasnim identified this issue onJuly 3 in a series of articles. Radio Farda also began to cover it. July 8 saw headlines about the “selling of islands.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected these rumors.
On July 11 the Iran-China issue got more headlines;
On July 12 there were more articles. According to Tasnim News Agency , Mahmoud Vaezi, Head of the Office of the President, tonight (Saturday, July 12), while appearing on the One TV program, spoke about our 25-year contract with China. Read the story here.
The details of the agreement have also been floating around on social media.
The narrative presented by the regime is that this has been in the works for a while. Zarif traveled to China in August 2019 and discussed a “25-year roadmap for Iran–China strategic relations.” Others have rejected assertions that Iran is being “colonized” by China. Opposition has come from Ahmadinejad and others.
The message from Zarif and others is that there is nothing secret in these discussions.
Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reacted tonight (Tuesday July 7) to the continuation of espionage against the comprehensive document of cooperation between Iran and China.
“The Iran-China Comprehensive Partnership Program is a clear roadmap and a principled guide for relations between the two important countries in the world to come,” he wrote in a tweet. “Where China, as the world’s leading economic power in the near future, and Iran, as the great power of the West Asian region, can withstand the pressure of bullies with complementary relationships independent of traditional and Western-dominated powers, while sharing common interests.”