Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hails the signing of a 25-year cooperation agreement between Iran and China as a “big step” towards promoting the common interests of Tehran and Beijing. Beijing is in the final phase of approving the $400 billion 25-year economic and security deal with Tehran, duscribed as a China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership. According to media reports, the deal involves massive Chinese investments in Iranian infrastructure, which include closer exchanges of defense and intelligence services and guarantee Iranian oil to China. In the oil industry in particular, what could be seen as the main motivation for the Chinese to sign an agreement conflicts with the numbers. China`s oil imports from Iran collapsed by 89 percent in March, as Beijing tried to strike a trade deal with the United States. In June, China did not import crude oil from Iran, at least officially, against an all-time high from Saudi Arabia. In addition, all the significant incidents in the Middle East in recent years, including the assassination of Soleimani, the Iranian attack on Abqaiq Khurais and the ongoing war in Syria and Yemen, have not influenced the price of oil in the long run. So, again, why do the Chinese need this deal and why now? But it is above all the rivalry between the United States, Iran`s main adversary, and China, Iran`s main supporter, that plays the main role in the signing of the agreement. The trade war between the US and Sino is a long-running war and this deal is a new choice in the fight between the two. Not only would it allow Iran to avoid sanctions, but it would also pose a serious challenge to U.S. supremacy in the Middle East. China would undermine its own stated goal of promoting stability and peace by opposing U.S. sanctions and doing business with Iran, and would also send a clear message to any other countries that might be in trouble.
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