News analysis

View $554b Iran-China 'secret deal' in context, analysts say

They note that deal merely fleshes out 2016 agreement, and should be viewed as Teheran floating a trial balloon

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Against a backdrop of worsening bilateral relations with the United States, news emerged earlier this month of a purported secret deal between China and Iran involving some US$400 billion (S$554 billion) of Chinese investments in the Islamic Republic over 25 years.

While it sparked concerns that the deal could recalibrate geopolitics and pose a potential strategic challenge to the US, analysts say this is essentially the fleshing out of a prior agreement from 2016, and should be viewed as Teheran floating a trial balloon.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2020, with the headline View $554b Iran-China 'secret deal' in context, analysts say. Subscribe