Saturday, 08 August, 2020

25-year deal with China is a shrewd, opportune move by Iran: Analyst

The potential 25-year trade and strategic cooperation deal with China is a shrewd, opportune, and necessary move by Iran given the Atlantic world’s betrayal of the Islamic Republic, an international lawyer and political analyst says.

Barry Grossman, who is based on the Indonesian island of Bali, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reportedly told Parliament last week that Iran and China were working on a 25-year trade agreement. China has said it will invest US$400 billion in the Iranian economy.

The US State Department and anti-Iran Farsi media outlets based outside Iran have denounced the possible deal between Iran and China that seeks to expand economic and strategic partnership between the two powers.  

The US State Department went on to issue tweets in Farsi, comparing the potential Iran-China accord to the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay which was an agreement between Persia and the Russian Empire. By the treaty, Persia had to cede to Russia control of some areas in the South Caucasus.

Iran has rejected the criticism saying is it aimed at appeasing the enemies of the Islamic republic.

“Unfortunately, a destructive line of propaganda has been initiated and directed from outside Iran against the expansion of Iran’s relations with neighbors and especially (with) China and Russia,” Iranian president’s chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi,  said on Wednesday.

The senior official, a close aide to President Hassan Rouhani, said Iran is seeking to set up a roadmap for its future strategic ties with China, a move he said was absolutely normal under the current diplomatic practices.

Gholam-Reza Ansari, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, said on Friday that it comes as no surprise to see Western countries expressing concern about Tehran’s strategic cooperation with Beijing, as they are terrified that Iran would be linked to China’s global potentialities.

Ansari said some of the criticisms recently raised about a 25-year strategic cooperation deal between Tehran and Beijing are “ridiculous”.

As for the trade deal itself personally, I see it as a shrewd probably even necessary move given the Atlantic world’s betrayal of Iran, and they’re continuing asymmetric warfare against Iran.

I just like to say I generally avoid making comments on Iran’s internal affairs but having been asked I will offer some thoughts on the matter, and that simply is this:

Look there cannot be any doubt that the unexpected US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the betrayal of Iran by the EU position has left Iran in a very difficult position, and in an economic crisis.

Personally I consider it somewhat foolhardy and counterproductive to assume, as some people seem to that it was Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA that triggered this economic crisis or that the situation would have been any less severe had Iran not come to the table under US and Atlantic world pressure to negotiate the JCPOA.

So, to suggest that some people are that the Rouhani government’s policies are somehow responsible for the economic crisis in Iran seems to me to fall, very far, wide off the mark.

As for the trade deal itself personally, I see it as a shrewd probably even necessary move given the Atlantic world’s betrayal of Iran, and they’re continuing asymmetric warfare against Iran.

After all, there can’t be any doubt that in terms of priorities in Iran national security and defense, as well as the basic economic expectations of Iranians have to come first.

And certainly well before any speculative concerns about China’s politics and such matters and both of those matters that is national security, defense on the one hand and the economic expectations of Iranians on the other are in no small part connected with a need for hard currency and that’s of course where this deal comes in since, Iran, unfortunately, is being somewhat effectively shut out from trade and other markets.

And I certainly see no reason to be critical of a trade deal, which in any case falls well short of a sort of unqualified comprehensive alliance with China on all regional issues, bearing in mind that it seems to be supported by the IRGC, and by Iran’s ultimate leadership which wisely as always has so far declined to comment on the matter.

In fact, it seems to me that all things considered is far better that the Rouhani government should be left to either take the political benefit of any advantages that flow from the deal or as the case may be to pay the political price if those benefits don’t materialize.

As for those who disagree and vehemently criticize this perspective deal they would I think do very well to rethink their position given that the pretender-in-exile Reza Pahlavi has himself strongly expressed the same view in condemning the prospects of a bilateral Iran-China trade deal.

Having said all of that ultimately the proposed deal can only be properly assessed based on the fine print of the deal itself. And of course any steps which are taken and will invariably be taken to make sure that there’s no room for any kind of corruption to creep into the administration of this deal.

Both of those things I think demand a measure of patience from would-be critics since after all, Iran is in a very difficult position, needs to be able to bring its goods and in particular its own to market, and while the Chinese seem to drive always a very hard deal. That seems to be the best prospect on the table at this point in time.

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