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The China-Mediterranean Observer: Mixed Feelings in Iran and China About Strategic Cooperation Deal

File image of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. AFP.

We start this issue of the ChinaMed Observer with the debate in Iranian media over the signing of the Iran-China 25-year Cooperation Program. In this regard, Abolfazl Olamayifar, Director of the China Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from the pages of the economic newspaper Donya-ye Eqtesad, addressed some of the concerns raised lately over the cooperation document, including the reasons behind the perceived secrecy of its details and the fear of granting excessive concessions to China, thus undermining Iran’s independence.

Olamayifar stated clearly that not one of these concerns have any foundation, as the signed document is a roadmap, in which “the two countries have agreed on outlining a shared vision for a long-term cooperation plan”, and that does not mention any numbers, or binding contracts. Moreover, he affirmed that this document is a great opportunity to take advantage of the cooperation with China, especially in the economic and political fields, vis-à-vis the Western countries’ weakness in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and in supporting the revival of the JCPOA.

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