The Iran Deal and Iran-China Relations

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Behzad Khoshandam
Ph.D. in International Relations & Expert on International Issues

Most economic, trade, financial and monetary indexes show that relations between Iran and China have been developing and deepening in the past decade. Iran sees the Chinese dragon as a huge international, Asian and oriental actor. The position that China plays in Iran's foreign policy is very remarkable in the light of the Iran deal and due to many strategic, economic, political, cultural, energy, military and regional  indexes, especially China’s right of veto at the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member of that council. Iran and China are two developing countries for whom international cooperation is very important as a means of further facilitation of their growth.

Now, the important question is what immediate effect will the Iran deal have on relations between Iran and China in various fields from energy to regional and international issues?

It seems that the immediate effect of the Iran deal is to normalize and realize both sides’ interactions and real expectations. In the light of the Iran deal, Tehran’s regional role is expected to be recognized and respected by international actors. The issue of energy as a strategic need for China’s development, symmetrical eastern and Asian culture existing in both countries, cooperation within important international institutions such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, having shared views on certain regional issues and crises in the Middle East, including the Syrian crisis, and shared views on problems in Central Asia (such as border disputes and the issues of energy and extremism in that region) are major common denominators between Iran and China. Establishment of regional order and resolution of the issue of energy in Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East on the basis of the constructive and effective roles that Iran and China will play in the light of the Iran deal are major demands of international community on the basis of the Iran deal.

In the light of the Iran deal, differences between Iran and China in such fields as their approach to the biased behavior of the United States’ and the Security Council toward Iran; type, nature and expanse of international order and order in the Middle East; the issue of proliferation; actors and power balance in the Middle East; the existence of Israel; the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council’s approach to regional cooperation; geoeconomic role of these two actors in developments of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia; and reciprocal positions of Iran and China in each other’s foreign policy agendas will be carefully reviewed. I the light of the Iran deal, China and Russia will be possibly playing a complementary key role in boosting the impact of the Iran deal in international arena and on decisions made by such important international institutions, such as the UN Security Council.

In view of the outcomes of the Iran deal, economic relations of Iran with India and with European and Western partners of Iran will be bolstered in the medium term. Therefore, due to mainly economic nature of Iran-China relations, rivalry between China and new partners of Iran will possibly intensify in the light of the Iran deal. As a result, in the light of the Iran deal, Iran-China relations will need new agendas in economic, energy, cultural and military fields. On the other hand, in the light of the Iran deal, Iran-China relations, as two important developing and peaceful powers in international system, will be carefully and covertly scrutinized by big powers.

In the light of the Iran deal, relations between Iran and China will continue peacefully and without much hype as a result of foreign policy requirements of both countries as two major international actors. The second decade of the 21st century is going by for Iran on the basis of the Iran deal at a time that Iran's historical memory will not forget how national interests of the country fell victim to the whims of dominant American and European powers in the 20th century. An expectation that Iran will have from China, as a big global power, in the light of the Iran deal in the 21st century, which is called Asia’s century, is that China, as the emerging peaceful power of the 21st century, should not implement oppressive and unjust strategies of the big powers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries with regard to Iran.

Key Words: Iran, Nuclear Deal, Iran-China Relations, Peaceful Power, Western Partners, UN Security Council, Khoshandam

More By Behzad Khoshandam:

*The Iran Deal and the Choice of Reconciliatory Strategic Necessity:

*Iran and Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Reciprocal Strategies and Viewpoints:

*The Iran Deal, Arab-Arab Struggles and Rights of Neighborhood: