Iran seeks “long-term strategic” ties with China, regardless of international developments, President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi said on Wednesday as he met Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in Tehran.
“Iran’s definite policy is to develop long-term strategic relations in various fields with China,” said Raeisi, adding that such ties should not be affected by international developments and need to be “based on mutual political trust”.
In this regard, the president said, the “successful” implementation of a 25-year strategic partnership agreement between Iran and China take priority.
Tehran and Beijing began to implement the comprehensive deal in mid-January. The deal allows China to commit to hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in various sectors of the Iranian economy. Iran, in return, will commit to providing China with a stable supply of energy over the next 25 years.
“Regional and global developments show how valuable the strategic cooperation between Iran and China is,” Raeisi said.
The president criticized Western “unilateralism and hegemony” as the hindrance to global economic growth.
“Unilateralism and hegemony are meant to control countries and preventing the world’s sustainable economic growth,” he said, and called for cooperation among “independent and like-minded powers” to counter unilateralism and bring stability and order.
Raeisi pointed to the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and said the Americans now officially admit that “they have failed miserably” in exerting “maximum pressure” on Iran which former US president Trump launched after he walked out of the accord in 2018.
Wei said boosting bilateral ties would bring security to the region and the world.
“Iran and China can work together on all global issues and contribute to global peace and tranquility,” the Chinese minister said.
He added that unilateralism hampers global economic growth.
Warning about Western expansionism
Heading a high-ranking defense and military delegation, Wei arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.
Iran’s Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani met his Chinese counterpart.
Ashtiani expressed concern over growing security crises in the world, saying many of them are rooted in the “West’s expansionist and hegemonic policies” and the exploitation of security gaps around the globe.
He stressed the need to counter US hegemony by encouraging multilateralism.
“Common security challenges and threats can be addressed via cooperation between independent countries that oppose unilateralism,” the Iranian defense minister said.
He said the US has brought insecurity, instability, division, war, destruction and displacement wherever in the world it stepped in militarily.
The Chinese minister said cooperation between Iran’s Armed Forces and China would be important in countering US hegemony and unilateralism and in fighting terrorism.