geopolitics-00545
The foreign ministers of Iran and China discussed plans to facilitate trips by the business people of the two countries under the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak.

China has remained Iran’s top trading partner in what’s become a crucial lifeline for the Islamic Republic, which is even turning into military and weapons supply assistance.

Early this week The New York Times reported that Iran and China have concluded lengthy negotiations for a long term trade and military partnership which is expected to see some $400 billion worth of Chinese investments pour into the Islamic Republic over the next 25 years.

Based upon a previous 2016 agreement which deepened ties and saw presidents Xi and Rouhani exchange visits, the deal has been described as ‘secretive’ – though Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and others has batted down the idea that there’s anything secretive to it at all, also given they’ve been very public in admitting a deal is pending, eager to defiantly show Washington that Iran has powerful international backers.

China has remained Iran’s top trading partner in what’s become a crucial lifeline for the Islamic Republic, which is even turning into military and weapons supply assistance.

Early this week The New York Times reported that Iran and China have concluded lengthy negotiations for a long term trade and military partnership which is expected to see some $400 billion worth of Chinese investments pour into the Islamic Republic over the next 25 years.

Based upon a previous 2016 agreement which deepened ties and saw presidents Xi and Rouhani exchange visits, the deal has been described as ‘secretive’ – though Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and others has batted down the idea that there’s anything secretive to it at all, also given they’ve been very public in admitting a deal is pending, eager to defiantly show Washington that Iran has powerful international backers.

Below are are further fields of cooperation expected under the massive and ambitious deal, which reports say could be inked as early as March of next year:

Chinese assistance to Iran in rolling out its 5G network.
Military cooperation, including joint training exercises and defense tech development.
Chinese access to strategic Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf, such as at Jask – a huge strategic boost for Beijing.
And in turn Iranian access to China’s growing string of ports lining South Asia.
Possible rollout of Chinese and Russian electronic warfare capabilities, including anti-missile defense shields, crucial in defending against possible Israeli or US attacks.
Despite all these advantages of sanctions-racked Iran, critics both within and outside the country have argued it essentially constitutes “selling off” the country to China at a moment it’s greatly weakened by sanctions and finds itself in an essential ‘state of war’ posture with Washington.

But in desperation, it appears this is all a risk Iran’s leaders are willing to take, given that while facing down US and Israeli military superiority, they see it as past time to do a deal with “the devil you know”.