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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posing for a photo in Tehran, Iran, on March 27. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

China and Iran, both subject to U.S. sanctions, signed a 25-year cooperation agreement in Tehran on Saturday.

Why it matters: China agreed to invest $400 billion in Iran's economy over that time period in exchange for a steady and heavily discounted supply of oil from the country, according to a draft of the agreement obtained by the New York Times.

What they're saying: “Relations between the two countries have now reached the level of strategic partnership and China seeks to comprehensively improve relations with Iran,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, according to Reuters.

  • “Our relations with Iran will not be affected by the current situation, but will be permanent and strategic."

Thought bubble, via Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Iran has become ever more dependent on China, which has offered it a rare economic lifeline amid heavy U.S. sanctions.

The big picture: The agreement may deepen China’s influence in the Middle East and undermine U.S. efforts to keep Iran isolated due the unresolved dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, per the NYT.

Go deeper ... 43 senators to Biden: Use "full force" of diplomatic, economic tools to check Iran

Go deeper

Mar 26, 2021 - World

China retaliates after sanctions by U.K. over Xinjiang abuses

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

China sanctioned individuals and entities in the United Kingdom on Thursday, claiming they "maliciously spread lies and disinformation" on Chinese government human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

Why it matters: The sanctions come after the U.S., U.K., European Union and Canada this week coordinated sanctions against Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

20 mins ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.