Iran said Monday it is ready for setting out roadmaps similar to the one that is in the works with China, with other friendly countries, saying attacks targeting the pending arrangement with Beijing are definitely being orchestrated from abroad.
“We are prepared for signing similar [frameworks of] understanding with other friendly countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said in Tehran, addressing a press conference.
“We seek to define our relations [with those countries] on long-term rather than periodical bases,” he added, Press TV reported.
The remarks came in reaction to the emergence of negative reports about the pending conclusion of the Iran-China roadmap that lays out the principles for close cooperation over a 25-year timeframe.
With regard to media propaganda aimed at undermining the strategic roadmap, Mousavi said the attacks targeting the document “definitely originated outside the country.”
“Efforts by counterrevolutionary groups and think tanks that are constantly scrutinizing our activities are known to all. However, the Iranian nation is aware of and will not be affected by such smear campaigns,” the spokesman said.
Ditching US dollar
An advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei also said the pending roadmap for strategic partnership between Iran and China is to help ditch the dollar in bilateral trade and bypass illegal and unilateral US sanctions.
Ali Aqa-Mohammadi said the document is more than an “agreement” which usually encompasses just a certain issue.
The official said the partnership roadmap solidifies the two countries’ economic and defensive cooperation by protecting their dealings from “third-party intervention.”
It would “close up and eliminate the key spots,” where sanctions, including those targeting defense cooperation between the two countries, could be implemented, he noted.
“The US doesn’t want the sanctions to be relieved,” Aqa-Mohammadi said. “This document upsets the sanctions and the Iran-China roadmap disarranges many of the US plans.”
Washington returned the sanctions in 2018 after leaving a landmark nuclear deal with Iran. The US intransigence flew in the face of the fact that the deal had been ratified by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the form of its Resolution 2231.
Now, despite having left the nuclear deal, Washington has recently launched a campaign to renew a UN embargo on the sales of conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic that will expire under the deal in October.
‘Unprecedented defeat’ for US
Aqa-Mohammadi, who is also a member of Iran's Expediency Council, went on to address the implications for the United States’ ambitions in the region, where Washington has been sowing insecurity through decades of military intervention, and trying to tilt the balance of power in favor of the occupying regime of Israel.
“Coordination of Iran and China can take the region out of the United States’ hands” by pushing Washington aside, breaking its sprawling regional network apart, and frustrating its attempts at isolating Tehran, he stated.
The roadmap, therefore, translates into “such defeat for the US, which will be unprecedented in the region,” he added.
Aqa-Mohammadi cited US reports that Washington has assigned more than 4,000 people to administer the sanctions against Iran, saying Washington which is trying hard to prevent Tehran from drawing benefits from its national interests and bring about a “regime change” in the Islamic Republic has reacted very strongly to the prospect of the roadmap’s conclusion.
On Sunday, The New York Times said it had obtained details of an 18-page proposed agreement that would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years, it said.
It confirmed that Iran and China were nearing conclusion of the roadmap in defiance of the US, saying the document foresees “a sweeping economic and security partnership.”
The roadmap invites “billions of dollars” of Chinese investments in the Islamic Republic, thus undermining the administration of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to isolate the country through its “maximum pressure” campaign. Especially, the cooperation would prove a “major blow” to the US administration’s “aggressive” policy toward Iran since its withdrawal from the nuclear deal, The Times added.
Addressing the economic side of the roadmap, Aqa-Mohammadi said the document would not just cover oil and gas sales, stretching as far as enabling Iran and China to cooperate in “all economic areas.”