In an editorial, American business-focused and international daily newspaper the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote on Monday that the deal helps Iran evade the sweeping sanctions that the United States imposed on the country as part of former president Donald Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.
Iran and China, the report said, will establish a joint bank in light of their 25-year cooperation deal as a way to avoid the US dollar in their bilateral trade. The measure would possibly break the US dollar’s dominance in world business and finance, which is seen as a major goal of Tehran, Beijing and Moscow.
According to the report, the Iran-China deal will complicate Washington’s strategic ambitions at a time when the administration of new US President Joe Biden and Tehran are stuck on who takes the first steps to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
An Iran backed by China is under less pressure to do so, it said.
The agreement will additionally extend China’s influence and economic sway in the Middle East, and facilitate its access to energy as well as raw materials, according to the editorial.
“All of this shows the folly of believing that letting adversaries dominate their regions will have benign consequences the US can ignore. American isolationists on the right and left want to grant Russia, China and Iran “spheres of influence” and have the US retreat,” the editorial said. “But the more powerful they (the adversaries) become in their regions, the more these adversaries are likely to cooperate on a global scale to undermine American economic and security interests.”
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif officially signed the deal for 25-year comprehensive cooperation in Tehran on Saturday.
Zarif said the strategic partnership agreement would lead to further strengthening of relations between the two countries.
Wang also told Zarif that “relations between the two countries have now reached the level of strategic partnership and China seeks to comprehensively improve relations with Iran.”
Meanwhile, Biden has expressed concern over the deal. “I’ve been concerned about that for a year,” a Sunday video circulating on social media showed the Democratic US president saying in response to a question about the emerging partnership between China and Iran.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani on Monday reacted to Biden’s remarks, saying his expression of concern was justified as the deal will accelerate the decline of US power in the world.
“Biden’s concern is correct: the flourishing of strategic cooperation in the East is accelerating the US decline,” he wrote in a post published on his Twitter page.