Assisting Tehran with sidestepping an ongoing Washington sanctions regime against the country, China has opened a $10 billion credit line intended to finance energy, transportation, water and other key Iranian infrastructure projects. China is the biggest recipient of Iranian oil, and accounts for almost a third of Tehran’s overall trade.
According to Iranian Central Bank President Valiollah Seif, Chinese state-owned CITIC investment company has opened a $10 billion credit line to several banks in Iran to be used to fund wide-ranging infrastructure projects in the country, according to a report by the Times of Israel. The significant credit line will primarily use euros and yuan to bypass the U.S. sanctions.
Seif indicated that the $10 billion, alongside an additional previous $15 billion of Chinese investment into other unnamed projects in the country, show “a strong will for continuation of cooperation between the two countries,” according to Pakistan’s Geo TV media outlet.
Since the lifting of sanctions, Beijing has opened two credit lines worth $4.2 billion to build high-speed railway lines linking Tehran with Mashhad and Isfahan, Iran Daily reported, hot on the heels of an €8 billion credit agreement between Tehran and Seoul’s Exim bank signed in August.
While western banks remain cautious, particularly as Washington has imposed what many consider to be unnecessary financial blocks on Tehran, negotiations are progressing between banks in Austria, Denmark and Germany to provide a $22 billion credit line to Iran.