Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 30, 2021—On March 27, the Iranian regime signed a 25-year economic deal with China, in which it liquidated a large part of the country’s wealth and resources to the East Asian country. According to known details about the deal, China will invest $400 billion in different sectors, including banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, health care, and IT. Basically, the regime has forfeited the country’s economic infrastructure to a foreign power.
The deal has remained largely secretive since 2015, when the negotiations kickstarted following a trip by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran and his subsequent meeting with regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The little detail that has leaked about the deal reveal it to be so disastrous that even the regime’s own officials are comparing it to the Turkmenchay Treaty, in which the Qajar monarchy ceded large swathes of Iran’s northern reaches to the Russian empire.
According to what has been leaked to analysts and media, the Iran-China treaty has nothing for Iran and has only liquidated the country’s resources to help keep a tyrannical regime in power.
The background of the Iran-China treaty
The Iran-China agreement is part of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” an economic strategy that started in 2013 and focuses on investing in dozens of countries. In most cases, China’s counterparts in the BRI are poor country’s that end up giving up large parts of their economy in exchange for an infusion of cash.
It was clear for the Iranian regime that if it entered economic negotiations with China, it would get the short end of the stick. But the regime nonetheless decided to enter the deal because the main priority was keeping the mullahs in power, and if short selling the country’s economy, production, and markets would help achieve this goal, then the regime would be all in on it.
This is why Khamenei personally intervened and backed the negotiations that led to this disgraceful deal since the mid-2010s.
According to Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghaddam, member of the Expediency Council, Khamenei sent “a special message and special envoy” to China to negotiate with the Chinese president. And that person was none other than Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Majlis (parliament), who traveled to China along with his economic advisor, Ali Agha Mohammadi, and delivered Khamenei’s written message to the Chinese president.
In 2015, Jinping traveled to Tehran, after which it was declared that Tehran and Beijing were negotiating a 25-year strategic cooperation treaty. In February 2016, it was revealed that the mullahs would be liquidating the oil, gas, petrochemical industries along with Iran’s economic infrastructure. The treaty would also include security and military cooperation.
In August 2020, regime president Hassan Rouhani told his foreign minister Javad Zarif to finalize the negotiations and to sign the treaty. The signing took place between Zarif and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on March 27.
Liquidating Iran’s assets
According to various sources, in 2019, the regime agreed to give further concessions, agreeing that China delays payments for Iranian products and goods for up to two years. China can also pay for Iran’s oil in Yuan instead of dollar.
In another revelation, MP Hassan Norouzi acknowledged in March, “During the negotiations, the government agreed to forfeit Kish Island to China for 25 years.” Kish is an economic hub in the Persian Gulf. Norouzi also said that the negotiations included the “forfeiture of the Caspian Sea.”
The economic deadlock
Khamenei blessed this disgraceful deal to keep his hold on power and find a way out of his economic deadlock. The regime has relied on the appeasement policy to gain economic concessions from Western states and continue committing crimes. But the mullahs’ corrupt rule and destructive policies have driven Iran’s economy to the point that even a revival of the appeasement policy won’t give it the resources it needs to keep their regime afloat.
Forty-two years of corruption have left Iran’s economy in rule. Today, the country has no infrastructure to support domestic production. Any money earned from oils, exports, and other economic activities are seized by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and spent on nuclear projects, ballistic missiles, funding of terrorist groups, and beefing up repressive forces inside Iran. The IRGC’s hold on Iran’s economy has made sure the regime officials grow richer and richer while the Iranian people grow poorer by the day.
In this regard, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “The mullahs only think of preserving their own religious fascist dictatorship, which Khomeini said is the most important issue. He said they could even forsake the precepts of Islam to preserve the regime. Therefore, the mullahs could not care less about protecting the Iranian people’s assets and resources.”
Therefore, the mullahs could not care less about protecting the Iranian people’s assets and resources. #Iran— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) March 29, 2021
The Iran-China deal will weaken an economy that is already on the verge of total collapse. Iran’s people are already dealing with skyrocketing prices, rampant inflation, and an unbridled coronavirus outbreak. The situation has left the people in utter outrage of the mullahs’ regime. Under such circumstances, instead of dealing with the country’s economic woes, the regime has decided to wholesale Iran’s resources to a foreign power.
This will further enrage the people, who have already made it clear in several rounds nationwide protests that they don’t see the ruling mullahs as their representatives and want regime change.