November 20, 2009

China-Iran Ties Grow Despite Politics

Referring to President Obama’s visit to China Grand Ayatollah of Iran Hamedani this week accused the Chinese of two-facedness and said Iran should not be deceived by their “strategic smiles”. But Iranians and Chinese continue to grow closer each day. Just this week it was announced that Tehran had approved a 2007 agreement by Sinopec to develop the Yadavaran oil field, one of the largest untapped fields in the world with 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Under a buy-back arrangement, Sinopec will get delivery of 110,000 barrels of oil initially and large amounts of natural gas.

Meanwhile today in Shanghai the Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce opened a trade center, Iran's first foreign commerce center. The center will focus on Chinese-Iranian small and medium size business ventures. Thanks to robust trade in oil and gas, Iran-China trade grew to $27 billion (US dollars) last year.

And an unnamed Chinese bank will develop a major freeway that will link the Iranian capital to the Caspian Sea. The Tehran-Shomal freeway has been dreamed of since the 1960s but was considered impossible because it must tunnel through the Alborz mountains that block Tehran from easy access to the Caspian. The Chinese project will build 30 twin tunnels and create a 4-lane separated freeway to the coast. The region has great potential for tourism development and may lay a foundation to exploit the resources of the southern Caspian Sea.....

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