Velayati & Wang Zhengyi

Iran can link China with West Asia, Europe: Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati said the Islamic Republic can act as a strategic link between China on the one hand and West Asia and Europe on the other.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday after a meeting with President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Professor Wang Weiguang here in Tehran, Velayati said they had “long and constructive” talks and discussed promotion of the relations between the two countries.

He described Tehran-Beijing ties as strategic, saying that in a previous meeting he had with China’s foreign minister, the two sides agreed that the volume of bilateral trade can be raised from the current $50 billion to $200 billion.

Velayati further said Iran can play a role as a strategic link between China and West Asia as well as Europe.

Iran is a main player in reviving the Silk Road (an ancient network of trade routes connecting China to the Mediterranean Sea) in the 21st century, the official went on to say.

Iran and China have ramped up efforts in recent months to boost cooperation in various areas.

The two countries signed 17 documents for cooperation in economic, industrial, cultural and judicial fields during an official visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping back in January.

The trip came against the backdrop of growing international interest in ties with Iran after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) finalized a comprehensive nuclear deal on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16.

The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), terminated all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran.

By Tasnim News Agency