Iran cements alliance with China, Russia in clear message to Washington
Iran’s approval last week for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is the surest sign to date that all efforts by the United States to maintain it, or l Iraq, or many of the key Shia Crescent states in the Middle East outside the China-Russia-Iran sphere of influence, can now be utterly futile.
The SCO is the world’s largest regional organization in terms of both geographic reach and population, covering 60 percent of the Eurasian continent (by far the largest landmass on Earth), 40 percent of the world’s population and over 20 percent of the world’s population GDP. Iran’s acceptance into the group of full members of the group, in which it has only had “observer status” for more than 15 years, means, in effect: that the seismic agreement and multigenerational Iran-China is ready for full deployment, with Russia firmly on the side of both playing its part; and that any new “nuclear deal” made with Iran by the new US administration will not be worth the paper it is written on.
The most recent thoughts on this topic from the White House were that the United States is ready to return to full compliance with the original nuclear deal – the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) agreed in 2015 and implemented. work in January 2016 – if Tehran does the same. Tehran, for its part, has said it is ready to resume talks in the coming weeks. “Of course Iran will because it wants the sanctions lifted as they are a huge nuisance to it, but the chances that it will actually comply with any restrictions on its activities that it does not want are now zero, “said a senior official in the oil and gas industry. an industry figure who works closely with Iran’s petroleum ministry said OilPrice.com Last week. “The United States and Europe had a real opportunity in 2016 to establish a new dynamic with Iran which would have seen a good working relationship between the two sides, but which was lost when [former President, Donald] Trump pulled him [the U.S.] our from [JCPOA] deal in 2018, ”the source said. “It was a single government in Iran at that time under [former President, Hassan] Rouhani who bet that the agreement would bring prosperity to the population through many agreements, but these were promised but never happened and this promise can never be made again by another Iranian president ”, he added. “Certainly, in order to make a deal, they will say whatever the United States wants to hear for sanctions relief, but in terms of really doing the things the United States wants but Iran does not want. not to do, it will not happen, ”he stressed.
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The complete list of the 12 original strict clauses that former US President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, wanted in the original JCPOA draft, but which were removed after the permanent members of the UN, France , China and Russia – plus Germany – Iranian objections sustained against them can be found here, as they were delineated exclusively at the time by OilPrice.com. These are precisely the key clauses that Trump – and his former national security adviser, John Bolton – wanted to put back in any new version of the JCPOA that would come in after Iran was economically crippled (as the plan was) after the reimposition of sanctions. after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement in May 2018. While it is absolutely true that Iran has suffered economically since then, it has been preserved from complete financial disaster at once through sales of oil to China much higher than generally reported (although exclusively by OilPrice.com here) and through direct and indirect investment and funding linked to the historic 25-year agreement between China and the United States. ‘Iran (and exclusively revealed for the first time here in September 2019).
Across the table, Iran previously set its own terms for any new version of the JCPOA, according to various senior Iranian sources to which OilPrice.com has spoken exclusively. There were: 1. Compensation by the United States for the damage the sanctions caused to its economy; 2. Immediate access to all of Iran’s frozen deposits in Europe, the Far East and everywhere else; 3. Ensures that Israel does not continue to increase its intelligence services and military presence in the region to threaten Iran’s security; and 4. Recognition of Iran’s national security interests, including not discussing anything to do with the 25-year agreement with China. Clearly, the United States is unlikely to agree to any of these four conditions, but will likely be willing to allow Iran not to lose face entirely in the negotiations. equipment relating to civil aircraft; 2. Access – from suppliers not authorized by the United States – to drugs and medical equipment; 3. Access – by suppliers not authorized by the United States – to the technology necessary to modernize its oil, gas and petrochemical industries; and 4. Allow controlled access by the United States to some of its frozen deposits, but subject to Iran’s full agreement to Financial Action Task Force transparency conditions.
As it stands, according to the Iranian source: “Iran will play along but end up accepting whatever it has to accept to get what it wants – sanctions lifted and free access where it needs to go. needs it – as long as it can do it without having to comply with anything it doesn’t want to comply with, so the lists are no longer relevant in practical terms. Especially since Iran’s accession to the SCO will mean that the key issue it faced as the full details of the 25-year deal with China emerged in September 2019 (and sparked official denials by senior government officials in Tehran) – that Iran was bought up by China and became a client state in the process – can be disguised as a flow of investment from its membership in the SCO.
Already that process has started, with statements last week from Iran’s new Petroleum Minister Javad Owji that plans are underway to attract $ 145 billion from Iranian and foreign investors into the oil industry over the years. next four to eight years. This figure has always been part of the broader investment program of the 25-year Sino-Iranian deal that included the first $ 280 billion in funds disbursed to develop Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemical sectors over 25 years. The amount was to be largely anticipated in the first five-year period of the new agreement, with the understanding that additional amounts would be available in each subsequent five-year period, after agreement by both parties. There would also be another investment of $ 120 billion, which could again be initialized in the first five-year period, for the modernization of Iran’s transportation and manufacturing infrastructure, and again likely to ” increase over each subsequent five-year period if both parties agree. .
Highlighting precisely this, Owji went on to say that Tehran is “determined to strengthen cooperation with Chinese companies.” He added that: “Iran is ready to fully cooperate with Chinese companies to develop oil industry projects in upstream and downstream sectors… We expect the administration to have many partnerships and agreements between Iran and China. Full membership in the economic, military and political alliance of the SCO will, of course, also allow the leaders of Tehran perfectly to explain to their people the spectacular rise in military cooperation with China and the United States. Russia, which is also a key part of the comprehensive 25-year China-Iran plan, as OilPrice.com also exclusively reports here.
By Simon Watkins for Oil chauffage
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