In a Twitter message on Sunday, Ali Shamkhani said, “The West’s policy toward our country has been based on preventing Iran’s strategic cooperation with the East and continued dependence of the national economy on oil.”
“A long time ago, Iran decided to take these two steps [to boost strategic cooperation with the East and reduce economic dependence on oil],” Press TV reported.
“Iran will overcome the existing challenges through active resistance and the strengthening of national solidarity,” Shamkhani noted.
Iran and China have recently agreed and are seeking to finalize a 25-year roadmap for strategic partnership, which was announced in a joint statement during a visit to Tehran by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016.
The cooperation roadmap consists of 20 articles covering Tehran-Beijing ties in “Political, Executive, Human and Cultural, Judiciary, Security and Defense, and Regional and International Cooperation,” according to the statement released back then.
The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on July 25 that the country’s “longstanding policy” has been to maintain “balanced, friendly” relations with all Eurasian and Asian powers.
“Our potential long-term cooperation agreements w/ #China & #Russia, & our continued joint work w/ #India in Chabahar prove this,” Abbas Mousavi tweeted.
The White House, riled up by a potential long-term strategic partnership between Iran and China, has threatened to slap the same unilateral sanctions already imposed on Tehran against Beijing in case the deal is finalized.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview with Fox News earlier this month, censured the potential Tehran-Beijing cooperation pact and said Washington would apply all of Iran’s sanctions also to the “Chinese Communist Party and their businesses and state-owned enterprises” if the deal was signed.
Speaking in a televised interview, Gholam-Reza Ansari, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, said 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 potentials.
“Since Iran’s relations with China are serious, and that forms the basis of economic and strategic cooperation between the two states in the 25-year document, it is quite normal for Western countries to be worried about such relations,” he said.