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China, Iran deal eyes a future decoupled from US

In recent weeks, Iran and China have been hammering out the details of a potentially momentous cooperation deal meant to span the next quarter-century and chart a future decoupled from the United States.

China will invest tens of billions of US dollars in Iran as part of Beijing’s ambitious Road and Belt Initiative. The 25-year agreement includes economic, security, and military dimensions.

Such a deal is particularly important for Iran’s ailing energy sector, which is in dire need of substantial investment to refurbish an aging oil industry, which requires upwards of $150 billion for much-needed modernization of wells, refineries and other infrastructure.

The negotiations are ongoing, even as the Donald Trump administration continues to pin hope on Iran’s economic strangulation by a unilateral maximum pressure strategy and against the backdrop of growing US-China rivalry.

If approved by the Iranian parliament, the plan represents a major affront to the Trump administration’s relentless pursuit of Iran’s economic isolation in the international community. As expected, news of the China-Iran agreement has set off a chorus of condemnation in the West. (Web Desk)

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