Apr 3, 2021, 2:58 PM
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Iran-China comprehensive deal undermines US sanctions: Pakistani expert

Islamabad, April 3, IRNA -- Chief of a Pakistani think tank says 25 years comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement between Iran and China is an important development that has undermined American sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Muhammad Asif Nur, Director Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS), in an interview with IRNA on Saturday said the agreement covers a variety of economic collaborations, including oil and mining, industrial cooperation, transportation, and agriculture collaboration.

"This also covers building partnerships in tourism and cultural exchanges," he said.

The expert added this comes at the time of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran.

He noted this is an important development and poses as a lifeline for Iran as despite the US sanctions Iran can build a partnership with a growing global economic power, China.

"The sanction on Iran was invoked by the previous Trump administration after the controversial withdrawal from the 2015 former President Obama-led Iran Nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018,” added Muhammad Asif Nur.

Chief of IPDS went on to say the agreement will also augur well for the regional peace and stability especially when there are strict sanctions on Iran from the US, China has offered support to the country providing assistance through this important agreement.

He said this agreement between China and Iran will offer to support Iran to uplift its socio-economic progress and enhance Iran's security posture in the region.

The expert was of the view that China has always maintained a steady balance in the complex Middle Eastern political milieu. "Earlier, China has also signed similar cooperation agreements with the regional countries, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and UAE," he added.

He said that China does not want to indulge in regional rivalries rather pushing for peace, collaboration, and stability in the countries by collaborating in the deeper economic and development sphere. "President Xi Jinping in his visit to Iran opened a new chapter in the relations with Iran," he said.

Muhammad Asif Nur added this agreement also aligned with the larger vision of BRI which is a grand Chinese aim to have infrastructure development with the aim to realize win-win cooperation for a shared future for a common global community.

“With larger BRI, China is building a coalition for creating a shared destiny for humanity through connectivity and economic security of the communities in the countries,” he said.

The analyst went on to say through this agreement, high-speed railways, subways, and various other projects will support millions of Iranians.

"Because of the US-Iran stressed relationship, China has come forward to support the country through its important development initiatives as a reliable international partner," said the expert.   

The IPDS chief says China is becoming a strong bonding force between Pakistan and Iran. "Pakistan and Iran though enjoy deep-rooted relations and shared geographical proximity, but after this important development, the relationship will enhance," he said.

“We expect a multiplier effect from Pakistan, Iran, and China in this entire cooperation agreement. Now the trade from China will pass through the routes of CPEC and can go towards Iran through the multiple connectivity projects and from Iran trade may travel from the country through which the CPEC routes to reach the Chinese markets and trading hubs," said the analyst.

Muhammad Asif Nur added this cooperation will boost the trade through Chabahar and Jask seaports, complimenting Gwadar at the same time. CPEC is one of the most active economic lifelines of the larger BRI.

He noted it is also at the second most advanced stage of cooperation and development, with emphasis on agriculture and industrial cooperation.

"Once the sanctions will be removed, there will be stronger trade links between Iran and Pakistan which will eventually connect Chinese markets to the global levels," the analyst believed.

He said this agreement will also reject the spoilers of the regional cooperation between Iran and Pakistan who are often indulging in creating an atmosphere of competition between Gwadar and Chabahar.

"Rather, this important cooperation between Iran and China will improve and multiply the cooperation between Pakistan, Iran, and China. There will be a booster in trade and commerce activities through these land and sea routes resultant in building a hub of the economy in the region," said Muhammad Asif Nur.

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