China’s influence in the Middle East just got bigger with a $400 billion economic deal with Iran, according to Australian Prayer Network International Newsletter.
The partnership comes as Tehran seeks relief from crippling U.S. sanctions and China looks to expand its global influence. The deal means China gets to pour billions of dollars into Iran’s banking, transportation, telecommunications, and infrastructure sectors over the next 25 years, including huge investments in nuclear power, ports, and oil and gas industries.
Australian Prayer Network, citing CBN News, reports the cash infusion will bail out the Islamic regime as it continues to endure the economic strain of U.S. imposed sanctions and looks to China to ease their pain. The investment for Iran means China is backing it and that is perhaps the most important benefit for Tehran. In exchange, Iran gives China a steady supply of oil to fuel its expanding economy.
Australian Prayer Network explained China imports more than 300,000 barrels of Iranian oil every day.
Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, said “This deal gives it even more oil at a deep discount. The U.S. has sanctions on purchases on Iranian oil and China for the last year or so has been buying it openly in violation of those sanctions.”
Chang said: “This is another indication of strategic manoeuvring,’ on the part of Beijing.”
The partnership means the Communist government now has a strategic foothold in a region historically dominated by U.S. influence.
“The Chinese are solidifying economic relationships, not just with the Iranians, but across the Gulf as well, and are looking to use the Iranians as a pawn in the larger game of strategic competition against the West, particularly America,” said Benham Ben Taleblu, with D.C.-based Foundation for Defence of Democracies.
Australian Prayer Network said the agreement calls for closer military ties and more intelligence sharing, causing alarm in capitals around the Middle East, especially in Jerusalem.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Michael Ireland