Iran after the Sanctions: the Marginalization of China
Note n°13 of the China Observatory, by Yitzhak Shichor (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Haifa)
According to most commentators, the removal of sanctions on Iran has presented China with great opportunities. Small wonder that Xi Jinping was the first foreign leader to visit Iran after the agreement had been signed. This is, however, a misinterpretation of Sino-Iranian relations. Although Beijing has all along supported and endorsed a peaceful and diplomatic settlement of Iran’s nuclear plans, such a settlement is counter-productive as far as China’s interests are concerned. While opposing sanctions in principle, Beijing has benefitted probably more than any other country from the sanctions imposed on Iran – and on other countries. In Sudan, evacuated by the West under US pressure, China has become the predominant player in the oil sector, not to mention North Korea, Myanmar or even Russia. However, while Iran’s isolation served China’s interests, their “friendly” relations have concealed mutual suspicion, criticism, mistrust and reservations. All these by necessity affect Sino-Iranian relations after the sanctions were lifted, and their future course. It is essential to briefly review and analyze their relations before and during the sanctions to correctly appreciate their relations today and tomorrow.
- China and Iran before Sanctions
- China and Iran under Sanctions
- China and Iran after Sanctions