Former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Larijani said that relations with Iran are strategic for China, and the same is true for its economic cooperation with Iran. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on Ofogh TV (Iran) on July 17, 2021. Larijani continued to say that China is not the same country as it was 10 years ago, when he was sent there by Ahmadinejad, who was president at the time, to discuss sanctions. He claimed that the Chinese told him that they must first reach a "threshold of economic and industrial development" before they could confront America directly, but now this has happened. Larijani said that America, the Europeans, and the West are megalomaniacs, that they could possibly be "the worst people for cooperation," they are unreliable partners, and cannot be trusted with anything. He explained that the Americans have no reason for this megalomania, especially when facing Iran, the "cradle of civilization." Larijani further said that the Americans were cowboys who only came 300 years ago and that there is no real "American culture." He added that Iran should not cut diplomatic ties with Western countries, but they should cooperate with them only as much as it serves the interests of Iran.
Mohammad-Javad Larijani: "The Chinese can engage in significant trade cooperation with us. The Chinese [consider] close relations with Iran to be very strategic. For Chinese interests, there is no alternative to Iran. China of today is very different than the China of 10 years ago. The China of today is seeking areas of influence throughout Africa. China of today is seeking strategic friends. I remember that at the beginning of Mr. Ahmadin ejad's term, I traveled to China on his behalf, to discuss the sanctions and other issues. I had some suggestions. When we talked with the Chinese officials, they said: 'Look, we are ready for all these [suggestions], but right now we must reach a threshold of economic and industrial development, and until we reach it, we will not confront America directly. However, from a certain point and onward, we will take a firm stand against it.' It is happening. This had already happened.
"We must view the world as big and vast. Of course the Americans are in it and they are a strong power and so are the Europeans. They are megalomaniacs who demand more than they deserve. They could possibly be the worst people for cooperation."
Interviewer: "The Europeans?"
Larijani: "The Europeans and Westerners. Their megalomania is very bad. There is no reason for this megalomania – especially with regard to the Iranian people. If this was directed at other nations, it would still be unacceptable, but when we talk about Iran, the cradle of human civilization... A few cowboys came 300 years ago, and it's not clear who they were – maybe a bunch of thieves who went there – and now they are talking about an American culture – something that doesn't exist at all. There is no record of something call 'American culture.' I am not saying that we should cut our relations [with the West], or that we need, for example, to expel or ignore their ambassadors. We must see them for what they are."
Interviewer: "See them for their true size and nothing more..."
Larijani: "[We should] cooperate with them only as much as it serves our interests, because they are unreliable partners. They cannot be trusted with anything."