Is this a veiled reference to China making a big push into Iran with its giant Silk Road trade project?

Asia Unhedged is just surmising, but the leaders of China and Iran have been pretty chummy during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Rouhani and Xi at earlier meeting in Kyrgyzstan in 2013
Rouhani and Xi at earlier meeting in Kyrgyzstan in 2013

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani that since the US seems signed onto the multilateral nuclear agreement agreed to in July, it’s time to get to work. However, few details were released.

Even during the sanctions regime imposed by the US, UN and Europe, China and Iran continued close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties.

But now that sanctions will be lifted, China said energy and financial cooperation with Iran will become a priority. China is already the biggest buyer of Iranian oil.

Xi told Rouhani that when the nuclear agreement goes into effect “Iran will have ever more opportunity for foreign cooperation, and Sino-Iran ties will face a new development opportunity,” China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

China wants increased cooperation in areas such as railways, roads, iron and steel, auto manufacturing, electricity and high technology, Xi said. “(We) must prioritize energy and financial cooperation,” he added, without elaborating, reported Reuters.

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