Iran-China agreement, symbolic victory for Tehran, but not decisive

A month after the signing of the twenty-five-year “strategic cooperation agreement” between Iran and China, almost no details of its contents have been released. If something, in the United States, such as in Iran, has indicated, is concerned, “Major Geopolitical Changes”, The axis of Iran’s axis in the east and a Bringing the two countries closer to the United States, this non-binding and still symbolic partnership at this stage is hardly a major development in Tehran’s strategy. In the eyes of analysts, this partnership tops “A rhetorical victory” And ” Politics “ At an important moment for Iran, as negotiations are underway in Vienna to save the Iran nuclear deal.

“So Iran can say to the West: ‘Look! You will never be able to isolate us like you have done in the past. ” », Middle East Expert Dina Esfandiary Analysis at International Crisis Group Think Tank. But the signing of this bilateral framework agreement does not remove Tehran or Beijing from the imperative of compromising with Washington on Iranian nuclear power. Its origins are also tied to the nuclear deal signed by Tehran in 2015 with the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany. The condemnation of this “deal” by Washington in 2018 and the resumption of US sanctions ended negotiations initiated in 2016 by Beijing and Tehran over this partnership. The signing of the Sino-Iran Accord coincided with the resumption of nuclear talks during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Tehran on 27 March.

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The success of these negotiations also depends on the implementation of the partnership between Iran and China. The extent and timing of contracts that can be signed between the two countries also depends on the progress and, ultimately, the outcome of the Vienna negotiations. Already in 2019, due to US sanctions, Beijing was forced to withdraw from the South Paras Development Project, a huge gas field in the Persian Gulf. “This framework agreement with China is currently primarily symbolic, Esfandyar supports Batamanglidj, Iranian economist and founder of the Europe-Iran Business Forum. If US sanctions were lifted [à la suite d’un accord à Vienne], We will move from symbolic to actual implementation of contracts and links. In that case, Iran could reap significant economic benefits from its agreement with China. “

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