Looking towards political initiatives and economic recovery after the July 14 nuclear deal, Iran played up the importance of ties with China on Tuesday.
Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia hosted Chinese envoy Zhang Yi in Tehran and said, “Relations between Iran and China have been always constructive and we consider these relations as strategic.”
Implicitly referring to the expected removal of US and European sanctions on Iran following the nuclear agreement, Tayyebnia said that economic and trade relations between the two countries will be removed in the near future and the two countries will enter a new phase of economic cooperation, including bilateral investment.
Tayyebnia mentioned specific initiatives such as the development of the Chabahar port in southeastern Iran, connecting it to Central Asia via railroad.
Zhang Yi arrived in Tehran on September 21 for a three-day visit, accompanied by managing directors of 18 major Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel — Expediency Council member, former Speaker of Parliament, and father-in-law to the Supreme Leader’s son Mojtaba — met the Chinese Communist Party’s international director in Beijing and called for “strategic” bilateral relations.
Haddad Adel put his mission within the Government’s “engagement” of foreign countries and investors:
We in the past few months have witnessed the presence of various European delegations in Iran. But the important point is that our foreign policy principles will not change after the negotiations.
Our interaction with China is developing, and relations are deepening. This is considered a strategic relationship.
He continued, “Iran can be China’s most important energy source….As Iran has shown in the past 37 years, it will not be bullied by America and can be considered a trustworthy partner for China.”
China is Iran’s leading customer for oil exports, propping up the Islamic Republic’s economy as sanctions cut sales by 40% — including a complete halt of export to Europe — since 2012.
Haddad Adel also said, “Iran needs scientific and industrial investment. This can be fulfilled with China’s presence.”
And the Iranian official looked to Beijing to support Tehran’s moves in the Middle East:
With attention to America’s policy that creates regional instability to preserve its dominance, it is expected that China will be more active against this policy. This of course does not mean a military entrance. Adopting these policies can be effective in creating regional stability.
Supreme Leader to Pilgrims: US and Israel Are “Source of War, Bloodshed, Devastation, and Homelessness
In a message for the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, the Supreme Leader has renewed his blame of the US and Israel for the problems of the Middle East:
Today, the mischievous policies of America in this region, which are the source of war and bloodshed and devastation and homelessness as well as poverty and backwardness and ethnic and religious differences, and the crimes [committed] by the Zionist regime — which has taken its usurping behavior in the country of Palestine to the ultimate degree of ruthlessness and evilness — …are the foremost problem for all of you Muslims, about which you must think and in the face of which you must know your Islamic obligation.
Ayatollah Khamenei said “the plotting hands of the global arrogance must be seen and…a remedy must be sought” in areas such as Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and Palestine.
Photo: Iranian Armed Forces Parade for Start of “Sacred Defense Week”
President Rouhani reviews marching Iranian troops in a parade at the start of “Sacred Defense Week”, commemorating Iran’s 1980-1988 war with Iraq.