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Iran and China sign 25-year cooperation pact

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TEHRAN: Iran and China signed a 25-year “strategic cooperation pact” on Saturday in the latest expansion of Beijing’s flagship trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative as the US rivals build closer ties.

Negotiations for the deal, launched five years ago, sparked controversy in Iran last year and virtually no details of its contents have been released.

China is Iran’s leading trade partner and was one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil before then US president Donald Trump reimposed sweeping unilateral sanctions in 2018 after abandoning a multilateral nuclear agreement with Tehran.

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