The head of the Iranian Foreign Policy Strategic Council, Kamal Kharrazi, delivers a speech at the University of Beijing on Tuesday (IRNA)

September 12, 2018

The head of the Iranian Foreign Policy Strategic Council, Kamal Kharrazi, unveiled Tuesday in Beijing a list of proposals to promote strategic cooperation with China, in an attempt to lure the first trading partner to face US sanctions.

He called on the Chinese side to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq and Syria by deepening the economic and strategic partnership with his country, activating the Silk Road project and strengthening its presence in the North Indian Ocean through the establishment of advanced military bases in the ports of Gwadar in Pakistan and Chabahar in India.

During his visit to China, Kharrazi presented a package of proposals that would tempt Beijing to deepen economic partnership with Tehran and maintain the Iranian government’s hopes of protecting oil sales from US sanctions in early November.

The Iranian official called on Beijing to establish a cooperation belt between Iran and China and to revive the new Silk Road project. He gave the Chinese side attractive incentives, mainly granting China the exclusivity to build roads and railways throughout the country and to link to port of Chabahar to the countries of Central Asia.

China is Iran’s largest partner as trade volume between the two countries amounts to $53 billion a year. The Persian State sees Central Asian countries as the best option to face US sanctions in the coming period.

Iran’s recent proposal included investments in the construction of airports and oil and gas transmission lines, and the building of modern cities. In the same context, Kharrazi emphasized the importance of China’s energy investment in countries such as Oman, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq.

Kharrazi went further when he called on China to participate in the reconstruction and development of Iraq and Syria, and to engage in a project to transfer natural gas from the Iranian port of Aslawia to Iraq, Syria, the Mediterranean and southern Europe.

The Iranian official is visiting Beijing at the invitation of the Communist Party’s ministry of international affairs, ISNA news agency reported.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.