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US to weigh sanctions after Iran, China ink $400bn deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi (2-R), in the capital Tehran, on March 27, 2021. - Iran and China signed what state television called a "25-year strategic cooperation pact" on today as the US rivals move closer together. The agreement, which has been kept almost entirely under wraps, was signed by the two countries' foreign ministers, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Wang Yi, an AFP correspondent reported. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi (2-R), in the capital Tehran, on March 27, 2021 [AFP via Getty Images]

The US said on Monday it will evaluate a just signed $400 billion investment deal China struck with Iran over the weekend to see whether it will trigger sanctions under American law, Anadolu Agency reported.

"We of course will take a look and ensure that any sanctions that need to be implemented would be as it relates to this package, but we haven't looked at the specific agreement yet at this point in time," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

The announcement is prompted by Tehran and Beijing's announcement on Saturday of a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement that is part of China's "Belt and Road" initiative, which is a massive infrastructure project stretching from East Asia to Europe.

Cooperation in the defense sector, according to sources, is also part of the long-time agreement, which is significant given growing tensions with the West and recent joint military drills in the Persian Gulf region.

READ: Iran and China sign 25-year cooperation agreement

A joint statement issued after signing the agreement said the two sides aim to "promote the development and comprehensive strategic partnership" through this deal.

The $400 billion deal had been in the works since January 2016 when Chinese President Xi Jinping became the first world leader to visit Iran following the signing of the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.

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Asia & AmericasChinaIranMiddle EastNewsUS
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