Tehran(ANN)-Iran says it comes as no surprise to see Western countries expressing concern about Tehran’s strategic cooperation with Beijing, as they are terrified that Iran would be linked to China’s global potentialities.

Gholam-Reza Ansari, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, says some of the criticisms recently raised about a 25-year strategic cooperation deal between Tehran and Beijing are “ridiculous”.

Speaking in a televised interview on Thursday night, Ansari referred to the US State Department spokesperson’s comments about the deal, and said Washington expresses sympathy with the Iranian nation while it has imposed the harshest sanctions ever against the Islamic Republic even at the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Since Iran’s relations with China are serious, and that forms the basis of economic and strategic cooperation between the two states in the 25-year document, it is quite normal for Western countries to be worried about such relations,” he noted.

Ansari said China is currently the only country in the world which is buying Iran’s oil officially.

“The policy of the US and Britain—Anglo-Saxons in general—is to focus on pressuring Iran in a bid to keep it away from China and Russia,” he added.

‘Western countries terrified by Iran-China ties’

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the former chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, says the West is terrified that Iran’s growing capacities are connected to the huge global potentialities of China.

“This is why they have increased their efforts to undermine Iran-China relations following the announcement of talks between the two countries on a long-term deal,” he added.

The major agreement between Iran and China was announced in a joint statement during a visit to Tehran by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016.

The cooperation roadmap consists of 20 articles, covering Tehran-Beijing ties in “Political,” “Executive Cooperation,” “Human and Cultural,” “Judiciary, Security and Defense,” and “Regional and International” domains, according to the statement released back then.

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi rejected the “lies” and rumors recently spread about the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Mousavi described the agreement as a “transparent roadmap” and “principled” guideline for the future of relations between the two key states.

He said China is expected to emerge as the world’s leading economic power in the near future, while Iran will turn into the great power in the West Asia region.

The two sides will thus be able to “ensure common interests and resist the pressure of bullies through their complementary relations and independent from monarchical and hegemonic Western powers,” he said.