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Iran government squeezed over ‘secretive’ deal with China

Pressure is mounting on the Iranian government to release specifics of a contentious, long-term partnership agreement with Beijing, which some critics fear could effectively turn Iran into a Chinese “colony.”

“There is nothing to hide about the deal. Every stage has been transparent, and once it is finalized, the details will be made public,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told lawmakers last week as he was grilled over a controversial 25-year partnership deal with China. “The point that has to be taken into consideration in our foreign policy is the shift in global power,” Zarif argued in justification of the pact.

According to Iranian officials, the draft of the road map, known as the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, was approved by the administration of President Hassan Rouhani in June. The detailed content, however, remains open to heated debate and speculation. While the draft was in the works for over four years, it received little attention until some media reported about what they claimed were key facts and figures involved.

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