Need to Expedite Implementation of Tehran-Beijing Cooperation Plan

Need to Expedite Implementation  of Tehran-Beijing Cooperation Plan
Need to Expedite Implementation  of Tehran-Beijing Cooperation Plan

Head of the Iran-China friendship association called for faster implementation of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan between the two countries. 
“We are not happy with the speed and progress of the plan and believe that the steps need to be taken faster,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi said in an interview with a Chinese news network, according to ISNA. 
China and Iran signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement on March 27, 2021, which was hailed as a major step forward that will see China invest $400-600 billion into the Iranian economy. 
The deal was originally proposed in 2016, and eventually signed in 2021 by Iran’s former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his counterpart Wang Yi.
He said the slow progress of the project was partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now that the situation has improved and restrictions are lifted, conditions are suitable for the exchange of delegations and signing of multiple contracts within the framework of the partnership plan. 
“With the removal of covid-19 quarantine in China, more tradesmen, tourists and ordinary people will travel between the two countries without a doubt,” he said. 
The recent development will specifically give a boost to the tourism industry, according to Boroujerdi. 
He said the friendship group has prepared an application which provides Chinese tourists with comprehensive information about tourist spots in Iran in Mandarin so that they can select their destinations more precisely. 
“We also invite the Chinese side to invest in the development of tourist infrastructure in Iran,” he said. 


Major Step 

He later highlighted the constantly growing relations between Iran and China since the Islamic Revolution [1979], describing the 25-year plan as a major step along this line which gives a heavy responsibility to both countries’ executive authorities for its implementation. 
China’s capabilities in technology, such as fast trains, electric cars, solar power plants and passenger planes, provide appropriate grounds for cooperation, he said. 
Iran also has features that can benefit China, including the transit capacities in Oman Sea and Makran coasts which can contribute to Beijing’s Belt and Road plan, according to Boroujerdi. 
“Expansion of south-north and east-west railroads, as access routes to Central Asian and Middle Eastern and later European markets, can provide a safe and appropriate route for the Belt and Road project.” 
The opening of a consulate office in Iran’s Bandar Abbas city in the southern Hormozgan province indicates Beijing’s will to enhance cooperation with Tehran, the former lawmaker said. 
“The two countries can revive the marine Silk Road trade route which was once active, while the consulate can also pave the way for more Chinese tourists to visit Iran’s southern beaches,” he said. 
He also emphasized that Iran is the frontline of combating the United States’ avarice in the region, which is definitely in the interest of China. 
The friendship group’s head also welcomed the idea of offering Mandarin courses at Iranian schools, saying it could be useful for Iranian students given that China is becoming the world’s top economic power. 



He regretted Beijing’s disregard of Iran’s sensitivities during the Chinese president’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia. 
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia in December, where he sat down with leaders of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
They issued a joint statement which contained several clauses directly dealing with Iranian affairs, including its nuclear program, defense technologies and regional activities, as well as the ownership of three islands in the Strait of Hormuz that have been governed by Iran since 1971 and are claimed by the UAE as part of its territory.
The statement prompted the criticism of Tehran which summoned the Chinese ambassador to its foreign ministry to deliver its grievances. 
“We have islands in the southern waters that are inseparable parts of the Iranian land … China was not expected at all to engage in affairs dealing with Iran’s territorial integrity,” Boroujerdi said. 
The friendship group, he added, is of the opinion that the position was certainly not indicative of Beijing’s policy toward Iran and the move was unwantedly imposed on this country. 
“We also expect that the Chinese side atone for this position in the future,” he said. 
During a visit to Tehran in December, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua reiterated Beijing’s respect for Iran’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and support for Tehran’s efforts to protect its fundamental interests. 


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