Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi discussed relations between Iran and China in an interview with Chinese official broadcaster CGTN during a visit to the country. He said that both countries "share common positions and interests" on opposing unilateralism and maintaining independence and autonomy. Raisi added: "A stronger Iran is not something that Iran's enemies want to see, and likewise, a stronger China is not something that some countries are pleased to see." He said that America imposes sanctions on Iran in order for it to make "concessions on long-term objectives" and that this is a "form of warfare." Raisi added that the United States seeks to "achieve its goals" by inciting unrest on the streets of Iran and that some European countries are similarly "manipulating" Iranian people's minds. President Raisi spoke Farsi and English subtitles were provided by CGTN TV. The interview was posted on CGTN's YouTube channel on February 18, 2023.
Ebrahim Raisi: "China and Iran share a deep friendship, and both are ancient civilizations with a rich history. We now share common positions and interests. We hold similar views on opposing unilateralism and on the importance of maintaining independence and autonomy.
"Today, China is an independent and powerful country, and the Islamic Republic of Iran also seeks independence and autonomy. A stronger Iran is not something that Iran's enemies want to see, and likewise, a stronger China is not something that some countries are pleased to see.
"The purpose of the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States is to exert maximum pressure on Iran in exchange for Iran's concessions on long-term objectives. Sanctions are a tool of coercion, just like the military force used against Iran in the past, but now they are called sanctions instead. In essence, this is also a form of war.
"The U.S. seeks to achieve its goals by inciting unrest on the streets of Iran. We believe that the U.S. has seriously miscalculated. Some European countries have also made the same mistake. Their understanding on Iran and the Iranian people is completely wrong. They think they can get their way by manipulating the Iranian people through certain means, just like they do some other countries. This is a big mistake."