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Iran, China announce 25-year trade agreement

Iran, China announce 25-year trade agreement
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) greets Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (L) after a document signing ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. Zarif and Yi have signed a 25-year Iran and China strategic partnership act. Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA-EFE

March 27 (UPI) -- Iran and China signed a 25-year economic cooperation deal Saturday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, took part in a ceremony announcing the deal, dubbed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, on state television.

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The deal comes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Politico reported.

It's the first time Iran has signed a long-reaching agreement with another major world power, though a 10-year deal the country made with Russia underwent two five-year extensions, making it last 20 years total.

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Few details on the agreement have been published, but media reports say the agreement addresses a variety of economic sectors, including oil and mining as well as transportation and agricultural collaborations.

The New York Times reported that experts say the deal is similar to a draft deal the newspaper obtained last summer.

Under that agreement, China would expand its presence in Iranian banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and other projects.

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And in exchange, the country would receive a regular -- and heavily discounted -- supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.

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It's not clear how much of the deal can be implemented while the United States is still in dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.

President Joe Biden's administration has said it is willing to reopen negotiations over the nuclear accord that then-President Donald Trump exited in 2018.

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Iran has so far refused to participate in negotiations until the United States lifts economic sanctions that have hampered Iran's economy.

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