China reliable trade partner for Iran – Official
Tehran, Iran, June 11
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad - Trend:
Majid-Reza Hariri, the deputy head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce, described China as a "reliable trade partner for Iran, calling for enhanced economic cooperation between Tehran and Beijing after Washington’s pullout from the JCPOA.
"China has been a reliable partner for the Iranian economy over the past decades," Hariri told the Trend news agency on June 9.
Saying that China is purchasing 50 percent of Iran’s oil and non-oil products, he said, "Iran-China economic ties in the past 20 years and even during the era of sanctions before and after the JCPOA have witnessed a growing trend".
The Iranian official further described China as the "biggest intentional player in the fields of finance and investment", and said, "We have always had close ties".
Before striking the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2016, Iran and China had signed an agreement worth 20 billion euros in the sectors of mines and steel, Hariri said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he referred to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s ongoing visit to China and said new lines of credit are expected to open between the two nations.
On Friday, Rouhani left Iran for China to discuss ways to improve mutual relations and the latest regional developments.
The president is attending the summit of the China and Russia-led security bloc the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The deputy head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce also said that Tehran and Beijing are cooperating in the areas of gas, petrochemistry, mines excavations, carpet, and nuts, saying China is a prime destination for Iranian products.
He also said that foreign firms would suffer setbacks if they leave Iran due to the threat of US sanctions.
Chinese and Indian firms will soon replace the foreign firms and they will benefit from Iran’s competitive market, Hariri said, stressing Tehran is eager to cooperate with companies from across the world.
In a speech from the White House on May 8, Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and seeking nukes before announcing the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
The new US sanctions will take six months to kick in, but a number of European companies have already halted their businesses in Iran despite verbal pledges by their governments to protect them against any fallout.