Iranian official: China and Iran are "dependable" allies

Business Materials 4 January 2012 13:12 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 4/ Trend M. Moezzi

After celebrating 40 years of official relations in 2011, Iran and China's prospects for future partnerships are promising, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quotes Iran's ambassador to China as saying.

Iran can be a "dependable ally" for China and the two countries must form a united front against arrogant powers, Iran's Ambassador to China Mahdi Safari said.

China and Iran's official relations began on June 16, 1971. In 2011, trade turnover between the two countries hit more than $40 billion.

Iran is China's third largest oil supplier and supplies it more than half a million barrels of oil per day. China imports 11-14 percent of oil it needs from Iran. In total, China imports 80 percent of oil, chemicals, petrochemicals and minerals it needs from Iran.

In 2004, the two countries signed a 30-year contract worth $70 billion for Iran to supply China with 270 million tons of natural gas per year. In 2007, they signed two more oil and gas contracts for $5.6 billion.

The two countries' goal is to increase their bilateral trade turnover to $100 billion a year.

In 2011, China opposed the United States' efforts at the United Nations to increase sanctions against Iran.