Chang made the remakrs in a Saturday meeting with Governor of the northwestern Iranian province of West Azarbaijan Mohammad Sadeq Motamedian.
He said there are ample opportunities for cooperation with West Azarbaijan Province in the areas of international trade with Europe, mining and the exchange of experience in the environmental protection.
The diplomat added that a document has been signed to boost China’s trade with Europe via Iran, noting that the capacities of West Azarbaijan Province and the Silk Road can be used in this regard.
He said Beijing and Tehran can also expand their cooperation in tourism given Iran’s great tourist attractions.
Motamedian, in turn, said West Azarbaijan Province has “very considerable” capacities in the field of international trade and can be regarded as Iran’s gateway to Europe.
The official explained that the existence of a railway network in West Azarbaijan leading to Turkey and Europe can be used for the transfer of commodities from East Asia to Europe.
He said the Chabahar corridor to Maku (in West Azarbaijan) can be used to transfer the Chinese goods to Europe which would consequently reduce costs and the transportation duration.
West Azarbaijan Province has also the “best access to Europe, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea” which can be used to optimize trade cooperation, Motamedian emphasized.
“Several rich mines and agricultural and tourism capacities are among the other advantages that can be used to enhance cooperation with China,” the governor said.
China is Iran’s largest trade partner. Both countries are subject to different levels of illegal sanctions imposed by the US.
They have enjoyed close ties in recent years, particularly after the United States reinstated sanctions on the Iranian economy in 2018 after unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal.
The two countries signed the landmark 25-year partnership agreement in March 2021 in an attempt to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance.
The deal was announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tehran back in 2016. It sets the outlines of China-Iran cooperation in political, cultural, security, defense, regional, and international domains for the next 25 years.