Protesters against the Iran-China 25-year agreement took to the streets in Tehran, Karaj, and Isfahan this week. They believe the regime is selling out their country to China. Footage circulating in social media showed Iranians gathered outside the parliament, chanting “Iran is not for sale” and “Iranians support us!”
Slogans chanted in the gatherings also included “down to those who sell their nation”, “we will fight and die but we will take back our country” and “we’ll be here every day until the agreement is cancelled!”.
In Karaj, protesters gathered outside the Provincial Governor’s office. In Isfahan, the protesters held signs saying, “China get out of Iran” and “We want the 25-year agreement cancelled.”
Security forces and police had a heavy presence in the gatherings.
Iranians used wall graffiti to show how much they despised the accord. They also tweeted with the Farsi hashtag “25-year Iran-China deal” and #ChinaGetOutofIran, #IranIsNotForSale, and other similar hashtags.
The Foreign Minister of Iran and China signed a 25-year cooperation agreement on March 7, which was aired live on state-run TV. While the complete details of the China-Iran 25-year agreement are yet to be released, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the agreement was a “road map” for trade and economic and transportation cooperation, with a special focus on both countries’ private sectors. It is also expected to include Chinese investments in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors.
Unconfirmed sources wrote that China will invest 280 billion dollars in Iran’s oil and gas industry, and 120 billion dollars in Iran’s transportation industries. In exchange, Chinese projects will be prioritized, and 5,000 Chinese soldiers will be sent to Iran to oversee the “security” of their projects.
Following criticism regarding why the details of the agreement were not published, the Foreign Ministry’s Assistant for Asia-Oceania Affairs, Reza Zabib, claimed that it was “not customary” to publish agreements that were “unenforceable”.
With the China-Iran 25-year agreement, the Iranian regime plans to re-build the devastated economy using China’s resources to neutralize US sanctions, therefore prolonging its dictatorship and corrupt rule. However, by selling out Iran’s resources to foreign countries, Khamenei is fueling domestic anger even more.