On January 13, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian traveled to China to discuss bilateral relations and the implementation of the 25-year agreement between the two states.
The state-run news agency Fars quoted the regime’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on January 17 as saying: “We hope that the agreements that have begun to be implemented will open a horizon in the strategic relations between the two countries.”
This disastrous agreement has been in the works for a long time. The text was prepared by former Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani before it was finally signed by regime president Hassan Rouhani’s government, all under the supervision of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. However, not everyone is happy about the agreement, as many regime officials and state media outlets complain about the potential side effects for Iran’s future by making the country dependent on China.
In an article published on January 17, the regime’s state-run daily Jahan-e Sanat said: “One of the worst and most terrifying things about the agreement with China is that China has decided that the details of the contract should not be made public.”
On the same day, the state-run daily Setareh-e Sobh quoted Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the regime’s parliament and former chairman of the security commission, in connection with the secrecy of the government.
He said, “So far, no details of the strategic agreement with China have been released. But it must be stated carefully at what level, with what quality, to what extent and based on what commitments these collaborations are happening.”
In the current global balance of power, the Iranian regime is much weaker than China, which is one of the great global powers and has a strong economy. The only reason for them to enter into an agreement with China, and Russia for that matter, is to gain their support in regional and international relations by giving concessions and auctioneering the country’s resources and national wealth, which ultimately belong to the Iranian people.
At the same time, these countries have always gained lots of financial and political benefits from the regime, but have always preferred their strategic interests with Western countries, especially the United States and important countries in the region. In the past, any time the regime needed serious support from these countries, they ended up pulling the rug from under its feet.
Abbas Abadi, one of the members of the regime’s “moderate” faction, stated that, when it comes to voting on the UN Security Council’s resolutions against the regime’s nuclear program, “They (China and Russia) have not regretted voting in favor of the resolutions. Their support for the resolutions is justified by their defense of the existing international order. These countries are pursuing their own interests within this order. And in this framework, they try to find partners” (State-run Etemad daily on January 17, 2022).
He went on to add that, “If they think that they can count on the hypothetical support of the two countries (China and Russia) in the face of the existing world order, they are certainly mistaken.”
The regime’s relationship with Russia and China is moving on a one-way road, in which only these countries are benefiting. As the state-run daily Jepress stated on January 2, “the Russians and Chinese have nothing” to offer to the regime, “and they want to buy oil cheap.” In exchange, they want to dump “their junk commodities” on the regime.
According to the regime’s state-run daily Tejarat News, one of the provisions of the agreement with China is that the country, in exchange for investing in Iran and making huge profits, “will buy oil at a 30 percent discount and has two years to repay Iran’s oil money. Another point is that China can repay its oil debt with the Chinese yuan. Another advantage given to China is that two-thirds of the purchase of oil and gas will be in cash and one-third in the form of goods and services. The Chinese side can bring up to 5,000 Chinese security forces to Iran to protect its investment.”
The sale of the country’s resources to countries such as China and Russia is the result of Khamenei’s “look to the East” mentality. In this context, even fishing privileges in the Persian Gulf are given to Chinese companies, which are aggressively exploiting the area‘s resources.
Iran is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to minerals and natural resources. The majority of Iran’s mines are still open and are world-class in terms of their abundance. With 68 types of minerals, 37 billion tons of proven reserves, and more than 57 billion tons of potential reserves worth $770 billion, according to estimates compiled in 2014, the country was among the 15 largest mineral-rich countries in the world. Now, the ruling mullahs are selling off those resources for cheap in order to preserve their decaying regime.