Warnings have escalated in Iran after the disclosure of a secret agreement with Beijing for the latter to control the capabilities and wealth of the Iranian state, taking advantage of the country’s weak economy due to US sanctions.
In this context, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued warnings that the agreement, the period of which extends for a quarter of a century, was negotiated without consulting the Iranian people. He stressed that any secret agreement with foreign parties and without the will of the people opposes the nation’s interests, is considered illegitimate and will not be recognized.”
During a speech in Gilan Province, Ahmadinejad compared the agreement with China to the Iranian nuclear agreement with the Group of 5 + 1, which was approved by the United Nations Security Council, adding that “neither parliament nor the people had seen” the secret agreement. Addressing the regime, the former president said, “It is in your interest to allow the people to know the content of treaties concluded with foreign parties.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi rushed to attack Ahmadinejad, pointing out that there is strategic cooperation between Iran and China against common enemies and that the treaty is “honorable and in the interest of strategic relations between the two countries.”
A comprehensive cooperation agreement was concluded between the two countries on June 21 in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani. The details of the plan, which was approved by the Cabinet, were not announced, but previous reports indicated a plan to attract $400 billion in Chinese investment in Iran’s energy sector.
It is worth noting that the British magazine Petroleum Economist published an article last year confirming the signing of the agreement, which stipulated that Beijing invest $280 billion in energy over five years, $120 billion in transportation and roads, and hosting 5,000 Chinese citizens in Iran to follow the progress of the treaty.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the existence of a secret agreement, although he previously announced that there was a proposal for a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Beijing for a period of 25 years, the provisions of which are being worked out.
In contrast, Radio China International pointed out that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had talked with Zarif via video and that Wang Yi said the two countries are “strategic partners of each other, and they understand each other on issues of great importance and relevance to common interests.”