Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saied Khatibzadeh has dismissed reports claiming discussions with China have been postponed because of the uncertainty around the US election. Both Iran and China have seen plummeting relations with the US this year over a series of issues, with Donald Trump taking a firmer stance against diplomacy and Joe Biden promising to do the same should he become President. The election has been thrown into chaos as Mr Trump and Mr Biden wait for all states to finish counting ballots, while the President claims the contest is “rigged”.
Mr Khatibzadeh, speaking to Iranian state news network Press TV, said China and Iran would be pushing ahead with a massive 25-year deal between the two countries regardless of the US’ election result.
He said: “I deny such an issue, these issues are raised by adversarial media and are untrue.
“Negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and China under the 25-year agreement are continuing diligently and are not tied to elections of any country, especially the United States of America.”
The spokesman added details on the historic partnership between Tehran and Beijing would be made public as soon as possible.
US Election news: Iran and China’s deal is not affected by the US election, claims an Iranian official
US Election news: Saied Khatibzadeh said negotiations between Iran and China have nothing to do with the US election, and are set to continue regardless
The deal would see China and Iran collaborate on energy, investment and security, and has been viewed by experts as Tehran’s response to the US’ sanctions on the country.
If the deal is finalised, it is expected to see China pump $400 billion into various Iranian sectors.
In exchange, Tehran is believed to have agreed to give Beijing a steady supply of energy at a discounted rate for 25 years.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani approved a draft of the deal in June, with talks intensifying over the last few months with the hopes of striking a deal quickly.
US Election news: The 25-year-deal would see China and Iran closely tied in energy and security
US Election news: Iran and China are both pursuing closer ties as relations with the US plummet
Both China and Iran have forged closer relations as a response to the US’s heavy sanctions against them.
Current President Mr Trump withdrew from an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear activity in 2018, and followed it by imposing severe sanctions on the country.
In January, tensions between Washington and Tehran nearly boiled over into all-out war when the US assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani with an airstrike.
Iran was outraged by the attack, calling it an act of “state terrorism”, before tensions cooled following Iranian forces exploding a passenger flight from Ukraine.
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China and the US have also been engaged in escalating sanctions and measures throughout the year.
Despite Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreeing to phase one of a trade deal earlier this year, the deal has since lapsed as the US blasted China with sanctions over human rights violations and threats to national security.
The US army has also begun carrying out military drills in the South China Sea, and selling weapons systems to countries like Taiwan and the Philippines.
Beijing has reacted furiously to Washington’s measures against them, retaliating in kind with sanctions on US officials and increased military presences in the disputed waters.
US Election news: The US assassinated a top Iranian general and issued sanctions on China this year
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While some experts have touted Mr Biden as more likely to pursue a diplomatic easing of tensions between Beijing and Tehran, Israel is concerned a Biden Presidency would mean war.
Israeli Settlements Minister Tzachi Hanegbi warned Mr Biden will likely pursue a return to the Iran nuclear deal, which could spark conflict in the Middle East.
He said to the Jerusalem Post: “Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement. I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran.”
Mr Biden’s stance on China has also been described as “a lot like Trump’s” by the Wall Street Journal, with the former Vice President vowing to take a firm stance against Beijing if he wins the election.
Published at Fri, 06 Nov 2020 03:49:06 +0000