In a highly symbolic move, the Iranian Council of Ministers recently approved the opening of a Chinese consulate at Bandar Abbas, Iran’s main trading port and the capital of the coastal province of Hormozgan. While Tehran currently has three consulates in China, this will be the first for Beijing in Iran.
This development is likely linked to the 25-year strategic pact Iran signed with China in March 2021. The agreement — which includes economic, military and security cooperation — brings Tehran into Beijing’s megaproject, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While the agreement was signed nearly a year ago, it started the “implementation stage” earlier this month.