The Iranian regime’s 25-year deal with China over-investment in Iran’s water resources has spurred outrage across the country, especially regarding what is essentially the selling off of Iranian islands, such as Kish and Qeshm, to a foreign country.
In order to silence the protests, Iranian officials have made several contradictory statements aimed at muddying the waters; something they do often.
Fact: The Chinese Communist Party is a threat to our world.
The regime in #Iran is allowing Chinese fishing companies use highly destructive “bottom trawling” techniques in Iran’s southern waters, devastating the local fishing industry.#Chinapic.twitter.com/7d9evThJZm
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) July 27, 2020
Of course, the regime is in quite a bind at the moment, facing international isolation over its nuclear program and terrorism, as well as growing domestic unrest, with not one day going past with significant protest from some sector of society. Even the Iraqi government has now backtracked on its ties with Iran.
This, mixed with a failing economy thanks to sanctions on oil exports, pushed the regime to make a deal with China for enough money to preserve the regime. Make no mistake, Iran will not come out on top because the deal was written to suit Chinese interests and make a quick buck for the mullahs; whatever the cost to the rest of the country.
Ali Majedi, former Iranian ambassador in Japan and Germany, tried to justify the deal, saying that through this deal, the country would see greater “military power, economic power, and political influence”; none of which are true.
#Iran protests have shattered the regime’s illusion that it’s safe from the wrath of its people, so Tehran intends to learn from #China‘s experience in constructing a monitoring system to observe what citizens can see online. #IranProtests2020 pic.twitter.com/JIQcYi9QAd
— hassan.mahmoudi (@hassan_mahmou1) July 28, 2020
He said: “Relentless efforts by the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), the army, and Russia’s assistance have compensated the country’s military and defensive power shortages. Also, Iran’s political influence in several regional countries is undeniable; however, it should be acknowledged that this influence was costly.”
Majedi refused to explain the cost of this influence, or how and when it was paid, but he concluded that China was the main way for Iran to regain “economic power. This indicates that the authorities no longer believe that the country can rely on the “resistance economy” promoted by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and must resort to selling off national resources.
This deal was approved by the Guardian Council, which is directly controlled by Khamenei, but the Setareh Sobh daily predicted that not only would this not neutralize sanctions but could actually make the problem worse.
After all, Chinese boats in Iran’s southern waters are destroying the bottom of the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, which is eradicating the habitats of aquatic creatures. The deal also bans Iranian fishers from operating there, which is destroying Iran’s fishing industry.
The mullahs have decided to sacrifice Iran and its resources in order to lengthen the regime’s rule. They actually hope this will convince China – who has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council – to lessen international pressures against them so that the mullahs can focus on suppressing the domestic protests that threaten them.