According to reports, Beijing and Tehran are negotiating a 25-year pact which would see China receiving a substantial discount on Iranian oil. China will invest a staggering $400 billion in the Islamic nation over the period.
Following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in 2018, Tehran has been hit hard by the US sanctions reimposed.
Iranian exports have been curtailed by the US sanctions including much of the country’s foreign trade.
Fereydoun Majlesi, a former diplomat and columnist for several Iranian newspapers, said: “Every road is closed to Iran.
“The only path open is China. Whatever it is, until sanctions are lifted, this deal is the best option.”
The agreement has yet to be approved but it is expected to expand economic development in a number of industries including banking and infrastructure.
It is believed the deal will incorporate military cooperation between the two nations including weapon development, combined training and intelligence sharing in order to combat terrorism and drug and human trafficking.
A US State Department spokesperson said in response to the potential deal: “The United States will continue to impose costs on the Chinese companies that aid Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
“By allowing or encouraging Chinese companies to conduct sanctionable activities with the Iranian regime, the Chinese government is undermining its own stated goal of promoting stability and peace.”