The Sino-Persian pact, with a significant military component, set to change power balance in the Middle East and beyond.
Weeks after rejecting President Joe Biden’s offer of nuclear talks to restore the Obama-era agreement, Iran is set to sign a $400 billion economic and military pact with China.
With President Donald Trump out of the White House, America’s two foremost adversaries are interlocking their economic and military ties like never before.
The Chinese foreign minister landed in Tehran on Friday to finalize the 25-year deal, which will change the balance of power in the Middle East and beyond.
The economic and investment pact — with a significant military component — opens up Iranian army bases and naval ports to China’s People Liberation Army, news reports suggest.
The Reuters news agency reported the finalizing of the Sino-Persian pact:
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Iran on Friday for a visit that Iranian state media said would see the signing of a 25-year cooperation agreement between the two countries, which are both under U.S sanctions.
The accord, final details of which are yet to be announced, is expected to include Chinese investments in Iran’s key sectors such as energy and infrastructure.
In 2016, China, one of Iran’s largest trading partners and long-time ally, agreed to boost bilateral trade by more than 10 times to $600 billion in the next decade.
“The signing of the comprehensive cooperation programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People’s Republic of China by the foreign ministers of the two countries is another programme of this two-day trip,” Iran’s state news agency IRNA said.
The accord comes as Tehran hardens its stance towards the United States and the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.
The agreement includes “weapons development, training between Iranian and Chinese armed forces and intelligence sharing,” the leading Indian business daily Financial Express reported previously.
The pact has the blessing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the regime’s military arm and a globally active terrorist outfit, the newspaper added.
Beijing will also be putting boots on the ground to “protect” its investments in Iran — initially 5000-strong contingent, creating an armed Chinese presence in the Middle East for the first time, news reports confirm.
The agreement comes as both China and Iran are investing big in their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile facilities, potentially capable of hitting anywhere in the world.
Iran depends on Communist North Korea for critical components and technology for its nuclear weapons and long-range missile program, a cooperation impossible without China’s tacit blessing.
After President Biden took office, Tehran unveiled a massive underground ballistic missile storage facility, dubbed by CNBC and other news outlets as “missile city.”
“What we see today is a small section of the great and expansive missile capability of Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) naval forces,” the IRGC chief boasted earlier this month while unveiling the underground base on Iranian state TV.
The satellite imagery show Beijing erecting advanced and bigger missile launch sites in northern China, the international media reported this month.
There is no secret to the intended target of China’s nuclear threat. The silos being “built in the north of the country and are designed to accommodate the DF-41 and DF-31AG missiles that have a range of 10,000km to 14,000km (6,200 to 8,700 miles) – meaning they could reach US territory,” The South China Morning Post disclosed.
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