Will Iran and China join forces against America?

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ARE CHINA and Iran about to become strategic partners? Or does the West not have to worry? What might be called an “alarmist” view is that Iran and China have concluded strategic pact what binds them for a quarter of a century touching, not just, a wide range of domains Oil and gas, but also military, secret service and Connection to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Because of this, Iran is “Pan to the east” represents a permanent shift in their strategic position and creates an era of competition with the West. The basis of this view is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) leaked in June 2020 purporting to be a comprehensive strategic partnership roadmap between the governments of Iran and China. This 18-page document exists in three languages ​​(Farsi, Mandarin, English), but only in Farsi execution was published. The $ 400 billion deal between Beijing and Tehran was up officially announced End of March 2021.

The second view could be referred to as the “calming view” and postulates that no rapprochement between Iran and China is in progress; It’s like always in the world of Politics of the great power, and what is most important to the Chinese leadership is the restoration of normalcy in theirs Trade relationship with the United States ($ 550 billion annually versus $ 25 billion with Iran). As far as the “China-Iran” agreement is concerned, all that is involved is posing and patting the chest on the part of the Iranian authorities who are trying to influence public opinion At home; to convince the Iranian people that they will not collapse and that they have other options than the United States.

Similar policy paths emerge from these views that are inhospitable to a “clean return” to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The first view implies that Tehran and Beijing (and Moscow too) to have a common strategic interest in containing and combating US military supremacy and will try to do so in a sober way. In this attitude, the United States is best with a policy of isolate Iran and looking for one “Longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with others “Deeply problematic” Problems.

Similarly, the second view argues that it is best to forego the 2015 JCPOA and negotiate new terms that are better suited to current security, as a permanent strategic partnership is not in the works, and a long-term partnership is not likely Landscape. Hence, any diplomatic leverage emanating from President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy should be the basis for negotiating a new comprehensive agreement that Addresses US concerns regional allies (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel), otherwise Sanctions must remain in place, including secondary sanctions (preventing third parties from doing business with Iran) and if Iran continues to raise security concerns, all options should be on the table.

Aside from hindering nuclear diplomacy, these worldviews mean the likelihood of longer-term trouble between Washington and Tehran. Indeed, if Tehran is viewed as being controlled by Beijing or, alternatively, viewed as middle power lost at sea, the pathologies of the American national security establishment will rightly have nothing to do but land on a mixture of military threats and small adjustments. But Washington strategists who subscribed to these views were too intoxicated with old international politics: an incessant obsession with maintaining “credibility” and paying lip service to a “rules-based” order. These tendencies have come at the expense of clear thinking about Iran.

Blessed with decades of prosperity and security, we have lost the tradition of thought geopolitical about international politics (as practiced by Alfred Mahan, Walter Lippmann, George Kennan and Henry Kissinger). It is this habit that is urgently needed in an assessment of Iran – an awareness of the nature of the change in world politics and a feeling for the corresponding opportunities and difficulties.

There is a third perspective on this approach, which arises from an intermediate understanding of the strategic context between Iran and China. This view suggests that Iran is neither fully committed to the “East Pivot” and will not do so if it can reach an agreement with the West. However, if an agreement with the West fails, Tehran will turn completely to China. The political implication of this view – if one accepts “strategic competition” as the guiding principle for China – is that the Biden government should test “the opposite premise” of isolate Tehran “by restoring nuclear diplomacy, reducing regional tensions and making new agreements”. Crucial to achieve this vision, a “quick schedule” for re-joining the 2015 Iran deal is necessary – but by no means sufficient.

This post addresses this third point of view. First, I’ll outline China’s strategic interest in Iran. Second, I am describing Iran’s strategic interest in relation to China and the West. Third, I discuss how the United States should react, given this strategic context. Ultimately, I argue that the national interest is best served prudent diplomacy to Iran, that it is best to avoid the risk of pushing Iran further into the arms of China, and that a “Clean return” Sending to the JCPOA once a workable re-entry solution is found is critical. Then and only then the transition can be made to combat regional instability (proxies and missiles). More importantly, such an opening gambit would mark the beginning, rather than the end, of a redefinition of US relations with Iran.

To understand China’s strategic interest in Iran, we first need to take a larger view of China’s major strategic goals in the region. In 2013, President Xi Jinping announced China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during its visit to Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Xi outlined China’s priorities in the region with a view to growing economic ties, expanding access to maritime trade corridors, building security relationships and facilitating cultural exchanges. Most significant, however, is China’s huge collection of infrastructure projects – railways, energy pipelines, highways, seaports, border crossings – both westward through the mountainous former Soviet republics and southward to Southeast Asia. China’s ambition is breathtaking. Currently, more than sixty nations (representing two thirds of the world’s population) have signed projects related to China’s BRI.

But China’s regional ambitions – as structured by the overarching BRI – face a clear one Hurdle towards Russiathat any successful engagement in the Middle East is the key to Xi’s comprehensive concept of a sinosphere of shared prosperity in Eurasia, is in large part at the Mercy of Russia. Since the late 1950s, Moscow has been a major political actor in countries like Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Libya – all of which were once Soviet customer states. Today Russia is an important power broker in the regionthat maintains relationships with three main components: Israel, Iran and the Arab States. For its part, Beijing sees Russia as a “Real strategic partner” based on the two countries’ fundamental interests in preventing the United States from undermining its national and global position. But even this Beijing-Moscow “authoritarian international” faces its challenges – and that is especially true In the middle east. First of all, Russia seeks a potential role within the US-China paradigm as the leader of a non-aligned movement – a “Third way.” Second, Moscow has performed a precarious balancing act and opportunities to work with countries like India, Korea and Japan, who represent Beijing’s regional rivals. After all, both Beijing and Moscow are in a position to find themselves in a growing conflict over that Arctic and its potential to be a strategic resource base. These general developments have led to “Cooperation, Ambiguity and Tension” in Sino-Russian relations. As one analyst put it, cooperation between Beijing and Moscow “is hampered by historical suspicion, cultural prejudice, geopolitical rivalry and competing priorities”.

China’s pact with Pakistan – a country that matchless Regarding the depth and scale of BRI investments (including the launch of Pakistani sensor satellites from China and the development of fighter jets like the JF-17) – was a unique success so that China out of the Russian straitjacket in Central Asia and create a bypass road through South Asia. But Pakistan is not enough, and we cannot do without Iran meaningful infiltration of the Middle East.

From this perspective, it becomes clear what Iran means for China: Elbows out the Russian straitjacket in Central Asia and the paving of the bricks of the Eurasian BRI. In both geographic and political terms, Iran offers a number of opportunities to advance the BRI agenda. Iran provides land access to Iraq and Syria-Where Reconstruction after the war can be turned into permanent trade arteries by Chinese companies. Iran is also a necessary power broker in Syria, a country with a foothold in the Mediterranean where the Chinese are Outpost are implanted in Greece and Italy. Iran also offers the Caspian Gulf connection (ending in Chabahar Harbor in the Persian Gulf, downstream of the Strait of Hormuz, Not far away from Port of Gwadar in Pakistan, the terminus of the China-Pakistan economic corridor). Iran is also a major player in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen and has an important cultural gain a foothold in Afghanistan, especially among the Dari-speaking population (Afghan dialect of Persian), including the Hazaras (Persian-speaking and Shiite beliefs) who belong to Russia’s cultural dominance of Central Asia.


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