China Iran Military Agreement

Fathollah-Nejad, who also works as a non-resident at the Center on Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, said the agreement was contrary to Iran`s objectives of establishing and maintaining independence from the great Western and Eastern powers introduced after the 1979 Islamic revolution. He also pointed out that China has a very negative image in Iran, where it has been ubiquitous since the Europeans withdrew from the country under pressure from the United States. It also proposes investments in two port facilities in Iran, along the Coast of the Arabian Sea, which would add to a growing list of Ports built by China along the Indian Ocean that operate the country`s military service stations, from the South China Sea to the Suez Canal. Sino-Iranian relations will inevitably transform the political landscape in the region in favour of Iran and China, further undermining the influence of the United States. Indeed, the agreement allows China to play a greater role in one of the world`s most important regions. The strategic landscape has changed since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. In the new regional order, transnational identities, based on religious and sectarian divisions, are spreading and changing the very essence of power dynamics. China has intensified its military cooperation with Iran over the past decade. Since 2014, the People`s Liberation Army Navy has visited Iran and participated in at least three military exercises. Military relations between Iran and China have improved since President Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013 and Iran signed a nuclear deal with world powers last year.

In January 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tehran to open a “new chapter” in relations between the two countries. The visit came a year after an agreement was reached between the United States and other world powers to curb Iran`s JCPOA nuclear program; and two before President Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the agreement. The partnership announced by China and Iran has set a goal of developing $600 billion in trade relations, an imaginative figure even before the United States reinstates sanctions against Iran in 2018. China has also stepped up its military cooperation with Iran. Since 2014, the People`s Liberation Army Navy has attended and participated in at least three military exercises. The last was last December, when a Chinese missile destroyer, Xining, was taking part in a naval exercise with the Russian and Iranian navies in the Gulf of Oman. In July, the New York Times published a draft proposal for a new partnership between Iran and China. The document contains a 25-year vision of an economic and security agreement between the two countries.

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