TEHRAN, February 14. /TASS/. Tehran greatly appreciates China’s role in Iran’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and hopes for Beijing’s backing for its BRICS (an association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) membership bid, the ISNA news agency said on Tuesday, commenting on Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to China.
"The Iranian president has set off for a visit to China for the first time in the past 20 years," ISNA said. "Iran highly values China’s role in <…> Iran’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and hopes for Beijing’s assistance in joining the BRICS."
"On the other hand, for China, Iran is a country which plays an important role in the implementation of the New Silk Road project," it noted. "Iran’s geopolitical location and its control over the Strait of Hormuz are crucial for ensuring energy exports from the Gulf region."
"The president’s visit is a turning point in the process of the development of relations between Iran and China as two leading nations and two serious players in the regional and international arena," the agency said. "This is a good opportunity to give a fresh impetus to the implementation of the 25-year bilateral agreement on comprehensive cooperation."
"China is Iran’s largest trade partner and our ties are expanding," the agency quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iran-China Friendship Association, as saying. "China is among those countries that have historically maintained good relations with Iran."
Meanwhile, the Mehr agency said that since the beginning of the year, according to the Iranian calendar (March 21, 2022), Iran’s trade with China has reached 25.3 billion US dollars, surpassing Iran’s trade with the United Arab Emirates (19.8 billion US dollars) and Turkey (11.7 billion US dollars).