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China and iran sign 25-year cooperation deal

Iran and China on Saturday signed a 25-year “strategic cooperation” agreement as Beijing expands its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

“Our relations with Iran will not be affected by the current situation, but will be permanent and strategic,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted by Iranian news agencies as saying.

“Iran decides independently on its relations with other countries and is not like some countries that change their position with one phone call.”

Wang, who touched down in Tehran on Friday for a two-day visit as part of his Middle East trip, also met with President Hassan Rouhani, and Ali Larijani, a representative of the Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei who is said to have been the point person on the 25-year accord.

Rouhani thanked Wang on Saturday for China’s stance on the nuclear deal and standing up to “American unilateralism”.

“The two countries’ cooperation to implement the JCPOA and implementing commitments by European countries is very important and can change the current situation,” he said in reference to the formal name of the nuclear deal.

No details of the agreement have yet to be officially published, but it is expected to be a sweeping “strategic accord” that includes significant Chinese investments in Iran’s key sectors such as energy and infrastructure, in addition to military cooperation.

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