The Iranian regime finished its 25-year Cooperation Program with China last month, after much fanfare about its “Look to the East” program. Officials from the regime talked about this scheme as a “win-win” deal, but once the dust settled, it became clear that this shameful and unpatriotic pact was all for naught.
The Iran-China agreement would “vastly extend Chinese influence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, and dozens of other projects,” according to the New York Times in July 2020. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and significantly discounted — supply of Iranian oil for the next 25 years, according to an Iranian official and an oil dealer.”
Furthermore, the pact will provide China a foothold in the Middle East under the guise of expanding military cooperation, including joint training and exercises, as well as collaborative research and weapon development.
The agreement was finalized in June 2020, according to the Times, but Tehran did not make it public until now.
To put it another way, although Tehran is obligated to sell oil at a far lower price, Beijing would only “pay attention” if it was offered something in exchange. As a result, China has made no “promise” to pay for Iranian oil purchases or to spend the money in any way the Iranian regime desires, but it will “pay attention.”
Iran must supply China’s essential crude oil for the next 25 years, despite US sanctions on the regime’s oil sector. In return, Tehran could use the oil revenue, in a method approved by Beijing, including importing low-quality and unnecessary goods from China.
The Iran-China Cooperation Agreement, which has been in place for 25 years, allows China to participate in Iran’s civil engineering sector. Permission to establish the national railway network of Iran’s west-east, which is currently unconnected, is one of these examples. China will also construct a “pilgrimage” railway in Iran that will link Pakistan with Iraq and Syria. To put it differently, China boosts its influence in all four nations while consuming Iran’s natural resources and having easy access to all four.
The Petroleum-Economist published alarming details on Tehran’s pact with Beijing in September 2019:
“Chinese companies will be given the right to the first refusal to bid on any new, stalled, or uncompleted oil and gas field developments.
“Chinese companies will also have the first refusal on any petrochemical projects in Iran, including the provision of technology, systems, process ingredients, and employees needed to complete them.
According to the Iranian source, “China plans to use Iran’s low-cost labor to build facilities planned and managed by huge Chinese manufacturing enterprises, with comparable specs and operations to those in China.”
Will the deal improve Iran’s economic crisis? The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a worldwide infrastructure development initiative, was launched by China in 2013. According to Middle East Eye, “The project, which would link China with world markets through an extensive and ambitious set of land and maritime trade routes across Eurasia and adjacent seas, puts Iran in the centre of China’s global plans.” China has no plans to expand Iran’s economic infrastructure. Last year, videos of Chinese ships in Iran utilizing an advanced fishing equipment went viral on social media. This equipment depletes the ecosystem by removing fish and their spawn, leaving nothing for poor Iranian fishermen.
While Khamenei may “Look East,” China is looking in many ways and sees Iran as a minor part of a bigger economic strategy, rather than placing all of its eggs in one basket.
Iran’s governing theocracy will have the opportunity to beef up its military. “Part of the new military co-operation involves an exchange of personnel between Iran, China, and Russia, with up to 110 seniors Iranian IRGC men going for training in Beijing and Moscow every year, and 110 Chinese and Russians going to Tehran for their training,” the Oil Price said on July 6, 2021.
In a nutshell, the mullahs are solely concerned with maintaining their power. They may even abandon Islamic precepts to sustain the government, as the country’s founder, Ruhollah Khomeini, put it. As a result, the mullahs have little regard for the properties and resources of the Iranian people.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) February 15, 2022