Iran and China signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement addressing economic issues amid crippling US sanctions on Tehran, according to Iranian state media.
The agreement, dubbed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, covers a variety of economic activity from oil and mining to promoting industrial activity in Iran, as well as transportation and agricultural collaborations, according to the report.
The New York Times reported that China will invest some $400 billion in Iran in exchange for oil as part of the deal. The two countries will also step up military cooperation with joint training, research and intelligence sharing.
The deal with China marked the first time Iran has signed such a lengthy agreement with a major world power. In 2001, Iran and Russia signed a 10-year cooperation agreement, mainly in the nuclear field, that was lengthened to 20 years through two five-year extensions.
The deal also supports tourism and cultural exchanges and comes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran. The two countries have had warm relations and both took part in a joint naval exercise in 2019 with Russia in the northern Indian Ocean.
The deal could undermine US leverage over Iran ahead of expected negotiations and lessen American influence in the Middle East. Ongoing US sanctions against Iran could hamper its trade with China despite the agreement, however.