President Raisi, according to the report, described Iran’s relationship with China as a “strategic” partnership. He told Wei Fenghe, China’s defense minister, that strengthening that strategic partnership would be an invaluable step in addressing what he called US unilateralism.
— Middle East Online (@meonewsen) April 27, 2022
Raisi made these comments in the wake of yet another stall in talks to revive Iran’s nuclear power deal.
Originally called, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear power deal demanded that Iran export 98% of its enriched uranium to limit nuclear capabilities. It also required independent observation of Iran’s nuclear operations to ensure compliance. For their cooperation, the US lifted sanctions that allowed Iran to trade once again on the world market.
According to Raisi, “Confronting unilateralism and creating stability and order is possible through cooperation of independent and like-minded powers.” Wei responded that strengthening military ties between China and Iran would be in both of their best interests regarding security, “particularly in the current critical and tense situation.”
Iranian Minister of Defense, Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtinai addressed discussed the US military’s involvement in the middle east with Wei, saying, “wherever the U.S. has had military presence, it has created waves of insecurity, instability, rifts, pessimism, war, destruction and displacement.”
Wei agreed that “improving the strategic defense cooperation” between China and Iran would yield “remarkable” results in combating US unilateralism.
This most recent visit is but one in a long history of diplomatic and military cooperation between nations. China’s and Iran’s navies have utilized one another’s ports and have held joint training operations in the Indian Ocean.
Last year, the two nations signed a 25-year agreement that outlined cooperation and collaboration including but not limited to oil drilling, agriculture, and transportation.