July 24, 2018

Will China Undermine Trump's Iran Strategy?

Tehran Is Hedging Against International Isolation

By Ariane Tabatabai and Dina Esfandiary

In May, President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal. A few weeks later, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the administration’s aggressive new Iran policy, which was designed to prevent the country’s emergence from isolation. This strategy, the Trump administration believes, will force Iran to return to the table and make a “bigger and better” deal that addresses the president’s concerns with the existing agreement. For Tehran, a full economic recovery and renewed ties with Western countries now seem unlikely. But this doesn’t mean that the Trump administration’s plans will succeed.

For the better part of two decades, Iran’s leadership has been hedging against international isolation by developing deeper ties with China and Russia. Today, as Washington once again seeks to tighten the screws, Tehran sees its relationship with Beijing as key to remaining afloat. China has announced it will likely continue importing oil from Iran, even after the United States moves to cut down Iranian oil sales down to zero by November. And Chinese engagement with Iran might pave the ground for others to follow suit, which would undermine the new U.S. pressure campaign.

LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP 
Chinese officials often characterize their relationship with Iran as “20 centuries of cooperation,” but the two countries’ contemporary partnership began in the final days of monarchical rule in Iran. In August 1978, the chair of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hua Guofeng, traveled to Iran—the first time that a Chinese communist leader visited a non-communist country.


Read the Full Article at Foreign Affairs

  • Podcast
    • September 22, 2022
    Putin’s Panic Surge? With Richard Fontaine

    Richard Fontaine joins Dan Senor to discuss Russia’s - Ukraine War, Iran deal negotiations, the Middle East & the Abraham Accords anniversary. Listen to the full interview on...

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Video
    • September 9, 2022
    Cyber Attack on Albania

    Jonathan Lord joined Alhurra to discuss the cyber attack on Albania by Iran. Watch the full interview from Alhurra....

  • Video
    • September 8, 2022
    Details of negotiations between US and Iran on nuclear deal

    Jonathan Lord, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, discusses Iran’s work towards developing a nuclear weapon and the possib...

    By Jonathan Lord

  • Commentary
    • The National Interest
    • August 22, 2022
    The Senate Is Dropping the Ball on Middle East Air Defense

    Establishing a regional security framework in the Middle East would be a breathtaking sign of progress, and the Senate cannot afford to trip out of the starting blocks....

    By John O'Malley

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia