From the Washington Post (link)
China is hastening to complete a deal worth as much as $100 billion that would allow a Chinese state-owned energy firm to take a leading role in developing a vast oil field in Iran, complicating the Bush administration’s efforts to isolate the Middle Eastern nation and roll back its nuclear development plans, according to published reports.
The completion of the agreement would advance China’s global quest for new stocks of energy. It could also undermine U.S. and European initiatives to halt Iran’s nuclear plans, possibly generating friction in China’s relations with outside powers.
Caijing, a financial magazine based in Beijing, reported Thursday on its Web site that a Chinese delegation comprising officials from the National Development and Reform Commission — a top economic policy body — intends to visit Iran as soon as next month to conclude an agreement. The deal would clear China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, to develop the Yadavaran oil field in southwestern Iran.