Submitted by Pepe Escobar – source Asia Times
So what’s goin’ on in Iran? How did the Islamic Republic really respond to Covid-19? How is it coping with Washington’s relentless “maximum pressure”?
These questions were the subject of a long phone call I placed to Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran – one of Iran’s premier, globally recognized analysts.
As Marandi explains, “Iran after the revolution was all about social justice. It set up a very elaborate health care network, similar to Cuba’s, but with more funding. A large hospital network. When the coronavirus hit, the US was even preventing Iran to get test kits. Yet the system – not the private sector – managed. There was no full shutdown. Everything was under control. The numbers – even contested by the West – they do hold. Iran is now producing everything it needs, tests, face masks. None of the hospitals are full.”
Expanding Marandi’s observations, Tehran-based journalist Alireza Hashemi notes, “Iran’s wide primary healthcare system, comprising public clinics, health houses and health centers is available in thousands of cities and villages”, and that enabled the government to “easily offer basic services”.
As Hashemi details, “the Health Ministry established a Covid-19 call center and also distributed protective equipment supplied by relief providers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the armed forces to help – with the government deploying 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to disinfect streets and public places, distribute sanitizers and masks and conduct tests.”
It was the Iranian military that established production lines for producing face masks and other equipment. According to Hashemi, “some NGOs partnered with Tehran’s chamber of commerce to create a campaign called Nafas (“breath”) to supply medical goods and provide clinical services. Iran’s Farabourse, an over-the-counter stock market in Tehran, established a crowd funding campaign to purchase medical devices and products to help health workers. Hundreds of volunteer groups – called “jihadi” – started producing personal protective equipment that had been in short supply in seminaries, mosques and hussainiyas and even natural fruit juices for health workers.”
This sense of social solidarity is extremely powerful in Shi’ite culture. Hashemi notes that “the government loosened health-related restrictions over a month ago and we have been experiencing a small slice of normality in recent weeks.” Yet the fight is not over. As in the West, there are fears of a covid-19 second wave.
Marandi stresses the economy, predictably, was hurt: “But because of the sanctions, most of the hurt had already happened. The economy is now running without oil revenue. In Tehran, you don’t even notice it. It’s nothing compared to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey or the UAE. Workers from Pakistan and India are leaving the Persian Gulf in droves. Dubai is dead. So, in comparison, Iran did better in dealing with the virus. Moreover, harvests last year and this year have been positive. We are more self-reliant.”
Hashemi adds a very important factor: “The Covid-19 crisis was so massive that people themselves have pitched in with effort, revealing new levels of solidarity. Individuals, civil society groups and others have set up a range of initiatives seeking to help the government and health workers on the front line of countering the pandemic.”
What a relentless Western disinformation campaign always ignores is how Iran after the revolution is used to extremely critical situations, starting with the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Marandi and Hashemi are adamant: for older Iranians, the current economic crisis pales in comparison with what they had to put up with throughout the 1980s.
Made in Iran soars
Marandi’s analysis ties up the economic data. In early June, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht – responsible for planning Iran’s state budgets – told the Majlis (Parliament) that the new normal was “to sideline oil in the economy and run the country’s programs without oil.”
Nobakht stuck to the numbers. Iran had earned just $8.9 billion from the sale of oil and related products in 2019-20, down from a peak of $119 billion less than a decade ago.
The whole Iranian economy is in transition. What’s particularly interesting is the boom in manufacturing – with companies focusing way beyond Iran’s large domestic market towards exports. They are turning the massive devaluation of the rial to their advantage.
In 2019-20, Iran’s non-oil exports reached $41.3 billion. That exceeded oil exports for the first time in Iran’s post-revolutionary history. And roughly half of these non-oil exports were manufactured goods. Team Trump’s “maximum pressure” via sanctions may have led to total non-oil exports going down – but only by 7%. The total remains near historic highs.
According to Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data published by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, private sector manufacturers were seriously back in business already in the first month following the relaxation of the partial lockdown.
The fact is Iranian consumer goods and industrial products – everything from cookies to stainless steel – are exported by small and medium enterprises to the wider Middle East and also to Central Asia, China and Russia. The myth of Iranian “isolation” is, well, a myth.
Some new manufacturing clusters bode well for the future. Take titanium – essential for myriad applications in military, aerospace, marine industries and industrial processes. The Qara-Aghaj mine in Urmia, the provincial capital of West Azarbaijan, which is part of Iran’s mineral belt, including the country’s largest gold reserves, has tremendous potential.
Iran features in the Top 15 of mineral-rich countries. In January, after getting the technology for deep-level mining, Tehran launched a pilot project for extraction of rare earth minerals.
Still, Washington pressure remains as relentless as the Terminator.
In January, the White House issued yet another executive order targeting the “construction, mining, manufacturing, or textiles sectors of the Iranian economy.” So Team Trump is targeting exactly the booming private sector – which means, in practice, countless Iranian blue-collar workers and their families. This has nothing to do with forcing the Rouhani administration to say, “I can’t breathe”.
The Venezuelan front
Apart from a few scuffles between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Health Ministry about China’s response to Covid-19, the Iran-China “comprehensive strategic partnership” (CSP) remains on track.
The next big test is actually in September. That’s when Team Trump wants to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. Add to it the threat to trigger the snapback mechanism inbuilt in UNSC resolution 2231 – if other Security Council members refuse to support Washington and let the embargo expire for good in October.
China’s mission at the UN has stressed the obvious. The Trump administration unilaterally abandoned the JCPOA. Then it reimposed unilateral sanctions. Thus it has no right to extend the arms embargo or go for the snapback mechanism against Iran.
China, Russia and Iran are the three key nodes of Eurasia integration. Politically and diplomatically, their key decisions tend to be taken in concert. So it’s no wonder that was reiterated last week in Moscow at the meeting of Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Javad Zarif – who get along famously.
Lavrov said, “We will be doing everything so that no one can destroy these agreements. Washington has no right to punish Iran.”
Zarif for his part described the whole juncture as “very dangerous”.
Additional conversations with Iranian analysts reveal how they interpret the regional geopolitical chessboard, calibrating the importance of the axis of resistance (Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah) in comparison with two other fronts: the US and its “stooges” (the House of Saud, UAE, Egypt), the master – Israel – and also Turkey and Qatar, which, like Iran, but unlike the “stooges”, favor political Islam (but of the Sunni variety, that is, the Moslem Brotherhood).
One of these analysts, pen name Blake Archer Williams, significantly remarks, “the main reason Russia holds back from helping Iran (mutual trade is almost at zero) is that it fears Iran. If Trump does not have a Reagan moment and does not prevail on Iran, and the US is in any event driven out of the Middle East by the continuing process of Iran’s weapons parity and its ability to project power in its own pond, then all of the oil of the Middle East, from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, to Iraq, of course, and not least to the oilfields in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region (where all the oil is and is 100% Shi’ite), will come under the umbrella of the axis of resistance.”
Still, Russia-China continue to back Iran on all fronts, for instance rebuking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for giving in to US “bullying” – as the IAEA’s board last week passed a resolution submitted by France, Britain and Germany criticizing Iran for the first time since 2012.
Another key foreign policy front is Venezuela. Tehran’s soft power, in quite a spectacular manner keenly observed all across the Global South, de facto ridiculed Washington’s sanctions/blockade in its own Monroe Doctrine “backyard”, when five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline successfully crossed the Atlantic and were received by a Venezuelan military escort of jets, helicopters, and naval patrols.
That was in fact a test run. The Oil Ministry in Tehran is already planning a round two of deliveries to Caracas, sending two or three cargos full of gasoline a month. That will also help Iran to offload its huge domestically produced fuel.
The historic initial shipment was characterized by both sides as part of a scientific and industrial cooperation, side by side with a “solidarity action”.
And then, this past week, I finally confirmed it. The order came directly from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In his own words: “The blockade must be broken”. The rest is – Global South – history in the making.
“the main reason Russia holds back from helping Iran (mutual trade is almost at zero) is that it fears Iran.”
Why does Russia fear Iran? How would Iran and its allies controlling the mideast’s oil threaten Russia? As a competitor in the world oil market?
Exactly, if Iran goes down it will embolden them and Russia is next on their kamakazi attack list. They wont stop until they are stopped or destroyed in the process
There can be one explanation. Lets say Iran have had enough of Russia’s passive approach when it comes to help Iran. Iran sides with US, lets NATO establish bases inside the country and allow a naval presence on the Caspian. You think Russia could survive under such circumstances? Its a doom day scenario sure but then why let it even come?
Lots of good, solid factual information on the situation inside Iran.
Fanciful commentary is this from pen name Blake Archer Williams: “If Trump does not have a Reagan moment and does not prevail on Iran, and the US is in any event driven out of the Middle East by the continuing process of Iran’s weapons parity and its ability to project power in its own pond, then all of the oil of the Middle East, from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, to Iraq, of course, and not least to the oilfields in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region (where all the oil is and is 100% Shi’ite), will come under the umbrella of the axis of resistance.”
The US Military and Deep State has prevented the Trump wet dream of leaving the ME. He is weaker every month. They are not going anywhere. And Iran’s axis of resistance is less powerful this year than last year. It lost its hero leader Soleimani. Lebanon has huge corruption and financial problems that are impacting Hezbollah’s operational abilities in Syria. Turkey has blocked the wipe out of terrorists in Idlib. Assad has political issues within his ruling group to deal with. Israel bombs Iranian targets at will.
So, to conclude that Iran is rising in influence and power in the region is another wet dream.
Aligning with NATO in Iraq and Turkey in Libya is hardly the actions of a rising power.
“Aligning with NATO in Iraq and Turkey in Libya is hardly the actions of a rising power.”
Couldn’t agree more, Larchmonter!
It explains why Russia is wary about Iran: They have not always chosen their allies wisely and they have an inconsistent foreign policy. How else can one explain their simultaneous support & opposition to Turkey (in Libya and Syria respectively)
Even historically Iran’s track record has been erratic. In the 1990’s in their interference in the Balkans was justified by their claim to support Muslims, but instead of aligning with the Bosnian muslim leader Fikret Abdic who won the popular vote in Bosnia (And who campaigned for a peace!) they threw their support behind Saudi & NATO backed Alija Izetbegovic instead…
In Kosovo they backed the Albanians. The Albanians repaid the Iranians by hosting several US-funded MEK terrorist camps. Iran has repented and finally developed a relationship with Serbia and did not recognise Kosovo, but overall their interference in the region has been disastrous.
The rising power in the ME is neo-Ottoman Turkey not Iran, alas…
“The rising power in the ME is neo-Ottoman Turkey not Iran, alas…”. A rather surprising comment, bearing in mind the Turks cannot even defeat the Kurds inside Turkey. As for Arab states, they can hardly forget Ottoman Turkey. How many of them want to see Turkey as a rising power in the Middle East ? Also, Turkey’s current economic problems prevent it from pursuing a wider imperial agenda.
I agree, re the Arab states. They know all too well that the Islamic Golden Age did not overlap with Ottoman rule at all! (in spite of the Turkish soap operas that try to romanticise the “glory” of the Ottomans).
Turkey is projecting itself militarily in 3 countries: they are established in Idlib, they’re bombing Iraq, and they’ve just gone on a blistering offensive in Libya.
Re “soft power”, they have produced soap operas, and slick news channels (anadolu agency, TRT world) which are popular in region…
Turkey is biting more than it can chew. Turkey put many countries against itself and demonstrated that it s not a reliable partner for anyone. Erdogan is fastly running out of friends. What countries do still support turkey except qatar?
I see another wet dream: bringing back the ottoman empire.
Someone is obviously bankrolling the Turks.
It is very expensive to have tens of thousands of mercenaries in Libya and Syria. The money for this is clearly not coming out of the moribund Turkish economy…
Qatar was funding them in the past but they must be feeling the pinch by now with energy prices so low….there must be other sources.
Laurent, this is why I wouldn’t write off the Turks and the Neo Ottoman dream just yet.
Turkey is currently upsetting Macron but seems to be getting away with that the moment….much depends if M has any determination and the ***** to take things further. And who with….
Turkey is definitely not a rising power. Two months ago, Greece and Italy came to terms on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. They directly oppose Turkey’s interference in Libya, and they are also supported by Egypt.
Turkey can’t put into effect its dream gaining the control of Libyan oil fields since The greater part of the country is in the hands of Haftar.
Russia isn’t exactly standing by and watching Turkey’s adventures. Even few days before, they shot down drones of Turkey-backed terrorists. Covid-19 struck at a time immediately after the truce. If Turkey dares to strike again, they’d definitely receive a deadly answer from Russia and Syria. Probably, they’re waiting for Turkey to make a move.
But is Iran actualy going to do anything in Libya?
Don’t forget if it wasn’t Russia’s cowardice Libya would still be standing. Iran still is a power house in the region and it doesn’t want anybody to establish its foot hold, not even China and Russia which is why Iran is ever vigilant. You may say, so what about USA. Iran can’t win a shooting war with USA but it can bite its time and prepare the ground for an even partial US withdrawal from the region and slowly but surely establish a friendly relationship with those lands in future for mutual benefit. If we can dream of an integrated Asia why not Middle East?
Agreed that Libya was a huge mistake (Medvedev’s); and that the US must leave the ME (and, if I may add, also E Europe)
A US withdrawal will create a power vaccuum. There is a risk is that countries like Turkey and Israel move into this vaccuum in the ME. This is why Russia and Iran must urgently clarify their stance vis-a-vis Israel and Turkey.
Right on the money except Russia’s stance on both nation is very shady. Turkey is benefiting from Russian generosity while Israel plays Russia just like it plays USA. I really don’t want to say that Russia too is in Israel’s pocket which is not entirely correct but what i see is not so pretty either.
Yes Russia has given Syria fighter planes.
Yes it has provided air defense system.
Yes it assists Syrian ground and air forces in their struggle.
But these aren’t a gift either. Russia maintains a military base as well as a huge Naval base in Syria. So Syria is not any country, it is an important ally of Russia.
When it comes to halting Israeli air strikes on Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah forces who fights against international terrorism Russia is helpless or not willing to do anything substantial. Perhaps it fears the retaliation?
Washington has always had trouble understanding foreign countries, their history and culture. Iran has behind it a few thousand years of history, just like Europe. This means it has tradition and culture. The US applies sanctions, and the Iranian people respond with solidarity and mutual help. In Iran you will not find the winner take all mentality, which has contributed to the US having the mess it has currently. And yes, Iran will survive. And the US ?
The “pandemia” is a total fabrication by the financial and big pharma elites. The response was designed to have elder people dying. Cancel regular medical appointments to delay acute care treatments, brake economies, take over by banks, brake countries and societies, induce famine, in a sense a genocide by psy op. The reported numbers are all false, inflated and the measures taken ridiculous and in a sense a economic hara kiri all in the name of greed and depopulation.
We are in an hybrid world war called corona virus.
Here is an article that looks at the results of recent meeting between Russia and Iran:
Despite Washington’s best efforts to isolate Iran with the use of sanctions, it is increasingly clear that Iran does not stand alone.
“it is increasingly clear that Iran does not stand alone.” although that is inimical to the opponents’ hopes/wishes which are self-described as “strategies”, and perhaps “encouraged by silence and broadcasting of data”, the opponents will iterate the process of testing hypotheses, then when expectations/wishes vary from outcomes, will resort to bridging doubt by belief to attain “confirmation”, described by some as re-enforcing, (spelling by design not default), illusion.
Others describe this dancing/trancing process as here-we-go-round-the-mulberry-bushness, affording opportunities to others engage in strategies of transcendence, since the “benefits” of fiat do not wholly accrue to those immersed in fiat.
Now I expect a new round of escalations regarding the ending arms embargo on Iran. Pompeo says that the us will never allow the embargo to end. If china or russia (or both?) use their veto power to block the new us resolution to extend the embargo what will do the us? More military threats? More sanctions? More false flags? Will they declare china and russia states sponsor of terrorism? Will they kill other iranian leaders?
We have to keep in mind that the trump administration insisted a lot on the destruction of jcpoa saying they will obtain a better deal. If the maximum pressure strategy fails it will be a huge humiliation for neocons. I expect something very stupid from the neocons. These people don t like being humiliated.
Iran (Persia) is a very important country historically, being the origin place of civilization 6000 yrs or more ago.
But its current Govt needs to review its religious policies and its effects in the ME.
Also the monetary issues which is driving conflict with the West needs sorting out and perhaps Putin can assist with that.
Iran’s weak point happens to be it’s strong point as well, & that is Islam. You mix religion with political governance, you get the Roman Catholic (perversion of religion & politics).This explains Iran’s burning & persistent need for acceptance by fellow Muslim countries on equal terms as a practitioner, despite continued contempt and dismissal by the latter. Supporting various Sunni wars cannot solve the Shia vs Sunni schism.
Russian has a craving for acceptance as an equal, by western European powers. During Czarist times, sending kids to study in Paris was a symbol of status & a sign of high culture(civilization). In Putin’s era, Russia refers to western powers as our “partners”, despite the acts of contempt & blatant Russophobia by the latter. Unfortunately for Russia there are many shades of “White” & it takes more than wishful thinking to make the right grade.
What comes between Iran & Russia is religion on one side & “whitesm” on the other. Otherwise the two can make a formidable partnership.
Iran’s weak point happens to be it’s strong point as well, & that is Islam. You mix religion with political governance, you get the Roman Catholic (perversion of religion & politics)
Practicing one part of islam(rituals) and rejecting other parts(politics) cannot be done in Islam, something the western civilization has done to their religions and wants Muslims to do the same.
This explains Iran’s burning & persistent need for acceptance by fellow Muslim countries on equal terms as a practitioner, despite continued contempt and dismissal by the latter.
You have no idea how much persophile majority of the muslim world is. The turks, when they converted to islam, adopted persian muslim culture. Look at the central asian languages, south asian muslim languages (urdu, deccani) and turkish language, their cultures and their culinary to grasp the magnitude of Persian influence on the non-persian muslims (who happen to be sunnis). Nowroz (persian new year) is still celebrated in central asia. The works of famous persians like saadi shirazi and hafez are still revered and read across the muslim world.
The famous south asian muslim scholar of the past century, Allama Iqbal wrote –
“Our muslim civilization (south asian muslim civilization) is a product of the cross-fertilization of the Semitic (arab) and the aryan (persian) ideas. It is a child who inherits the softness and refinement of his aryan (persian) mother, and the sterling character of his Semitic (arab) father. But for the conquest of Persia, the civilization of Islam would have been one-sided. The conquest of Persia gave us what the conquest of Greece gave to the Romans.”
Supporting various Sunni wars cannot solve the Shia vs Sunni schism.
Iran is supporting the oppressed in Palestine (mostly sunnis) and Yemen, fighting to save Syria from falling into terrorist hands because it has been ordained in Quran to fight against oppression, not so that it can be recognized by the other Sunni Muslims. The only reason Iran has guts to do that is because it also follows political Islam.
I would dearly love to see Americans suffer as they have made so many others suffer.
No body in their sane mind can deny the gut of Iran. No body can deny the resilience of Iran. No body can deny their unity in face of danger and no body can deny that Iran is indeed a power house in the region that is as volatile as an active volcano. Iran is living under hardest of sanction since the revolution and is yet to buckle. Such pressure could break even stable nation which Iran wasn’t back then.
Iran has been countering USA in its own way, politically as well militarily. No country, i dare say, not even Russia or China has dared to look in the eyes of USA (shooting down drones, launching missiles on US-military base in Iraq) the way Iran has done.
Let this be a known fact that US’s attack dog Israel was defeated in 2006 by Iran’s proxy.
Let this be a known fact that it was Iranian boots in the Syrian quagmire helped Syria keep away the Hyenas from all side.
Let this also be a known fact that in Yemen the Houties still have the upper hand thanks to Iran.
Palestinians wont be remembered if it wasn’t for Iran.
The only reason i could see in the sentence ‘Russia fears Iran’ in the context of competition i.e. supplying to Europe. And if Iran could bring the Middle Eastern oil in its own control Russia would be the one competing against Iran. But this is of course by far not a reason to fear Iran. So why Russia doesn’t help Iran actively? Some commentators say that Iran’s record is not clean. Well Russia’s record isn’t clean either. It’s hardly been a reliable ally in the past. We all know how Mededev government let NATO bombed Libya. Libya was an ally of Russia. By not vetoing the UNSCR Russia allowed the NATO to bomb its own ally, probably only in that region at that time. Before that Serbia was also subjected to bombing and Russia did virtually nothing. Russia up until recently went along the NATO block to impose sanctions of Iran. Refused to deliver S-300 that Iran had paid for to please NATO and Israel. Russia came late in the Syrian scene too and largely remain unmoved when Israelis would just bomb Syrian military outposts. Iran watches it very carefully. Russia even remained largely silence when Israeli took cover behind Russia Aircraft as a result the Russians were dead. They are a very good observers and a long term strategists. Russia still allows Israel to bomb Syria. No one can deny it and every Russia apologists would go on the length and breath to explain why Russia keeps silence on Israeli raids. There is perhaps mistrust between Iran and Russia but i won’t say that their is some rivalry. At least no at the present time.
The persians also do not trust the chinese fully. The persians have a vibrant debate culture and the debate about the reliance on china has been going on since last year. The conservatives do not like the over reliance of Iran on China for oil sales. Iran thinks that if the trade is dominated by China, it can give the Chinese an excuse to arm twist Iran into doing something in its favor geopolitically. I think the conservatives also doubt about the reliance on Russia because of the reasons pointed out be you. Also, China and Russia are a competition to Iran for the dominance and influence in the middle-east. The thing that binds iran to china and russia is probably their opposition to western hegemony.
That is precisely true. Russia under Putin is showing some strength and willing to stick for its ally but still very cautious about every steps it takes. Iranians are intelligent handlers, they debate among themselves about the growing influence of China for sure and the military might of Russia which is undeniable. Iran showed great trust as well as extended hand when it allowed Russian use its airspace.
Iran does need these super powers i.e. Russia and China simply because without them there might be even more pressure extended on Iran and you need allies in this great game but that not to say Iran is weak. Not at all. Iran’s influence goes beyond its borders. Iran played active role in Afghan war, helping the Americans. Norther Alliance was made up by Shiite fighters who took arms against Al-Qaida. And as i pointed out before, Hezbollah is entirely trained and armed by IRGC who’s performance against the “most moral army” in the world stunned every body, literally.
China can provide unlimited should Iran starts to choke. We all know that. China offered Russia unlimited credit when Russia took over Crimea. Plus, Iran is an important link in the Chinese Belt and Road project often mentioned by Pepe. Iran has its own goals in Middle East, and it may include some form of domination but largely it wants peaceful and friendly neighbors so it can prosper via trade. Iran doesn’t need Europe for its oil exports. It can supply the hungry mouth in Asia and be happy about it. China and India are competing with each other on many levels and they need fuel to fire their industries. That’s as simple as it is. And Iran can provide both of them. Russia like i said that time will have to compete if Iran can get hold onto, even partially, on the oil fields of Middle East. Beside Iranians are very smart folks, they know how to maneuver.
Thanks for posting this article here Saker. It’s behind a paywall at AT+
The Venezuelan shipments remind me of the Spanish trade flotilla’s of colonial days. Convoys of ships bringing goods from Spain.And in this case gasoline from Iran.Hopefully soon they will also have a tanker break of from the convoy when they nearly arrive and head for Cuba to deliver gas.They should load up on Venezuelan and Cuban goods for the trip back home as well.
“The main reason Russia holds back from helping Iran (mutual trade is almost at zero) is that it fears Iran.”
Moscow naturally wants to have a stable pro-Kremlin regime in Tehran: anything else would pose a risk to Russian security interests. An Iran that is too strong – dominating the ME oil sector – could undermine commercial interests. Even legitimate interests can cause a wider war, as history warns.
Iran decided to develop a 25 years strategic partnership with China at this junction because of some salient factors which includes the fact that China and the US are now entering a period of strategic confrontation which would make or mar there relationship for next two decades going forward.
China can no longer afford its policy of ignoring America’s bellicose and harm to its interest around the globe and there are reports of opposition from majority of the politburo standing committee members against Xi Jinping attempt to make concessions early in the trade deal bargain even with treats of his removal.
This plays directly into Iran’s advantage because for the Chinese to use Iran as bargaining chip right now would also directly harm Beijing interest vis-a-vis the BRI in West Asia as Iran in pivotal to success of the BRI as geo-strategic location and institutional stability.
China needs a lot of oil to achieve its mammoth economic development within and without for the foreseeable decades and Iran is the only resource rich nation in West Asia which is built on strong institutions and not individuals – as the death of Imam Khomeini and assassination of general Qassem Soleimani has revealed – and can guarantee stability of energy supply to China when the chips are down. At this junction Tehran requires Chinese veto at the UNSC, Chinese market, a stable and developed neighbourhood which Chinese investment guarantee to further create maneuverability against America attempt to strangulate Iran.
Iran rightly read the barometer of world politics that with all the positive non oil economic indices, such agreement with China would provide a shock absorber which its manufacturing base required to become immune to America economic sanctions as it has successfully blunt the military threat of America and to become an economic powerhouse. All these is a delicately required before China could become a world hegemon and a threat just like what the US is today.
Saudi Arabia and other oil sheikhdom are America lackey and under Washington pressure they would sacrifice Beijing interest.
Russia on the other hand can though guarantee this supply but there is mutual distrust between Beijing and Moscow as major powers and policy wise it would be harebrained for Beijing to put all its eggs in one basket couple with the threat of emergence of another Medvedev, Russia institutions as The Saker have always argued is built presently on Putin with a threat of future return to the state of the 90s whenever he exit the stage.
Iran policymakers would not hesitate if they found such opening with Russia, but this is not available yet on the Russian side, probably in the future.
Absolutely agree with you. Iran needs Russia and China for number of reason which is why it doesn’t lashes out when lets say China reduces the import of Iranian oil due to pressure from USA. China is the main WORD here. Obviously, Iran is a key link and as you mentioned most calm and composed nation in that volatile region. Beside its a country of mostly young and highly educated people.
Agree with Serbian girl. If the US and it’s allies are flailing, Russia, Iran and whatever allies are faring even worst. 1. If the roles were reversed in Syria the Yankees would have destroyed the terrorists in Syria in six months,yet five years later the Russians are still struggling to wipe them out while Israel also bombs Syria at will right under the Russian noses.
2. Turkey is adding to the quagmire in Syria and Libya.
All these play right into the hands of the Yankees giving them breathing space at the drawing board. We just saw the results this week when Iraqi forces attacked an Iranian backed group that assisted in defeating Isis.
If the roles were reversed in Syria?
You mean if Iran was the global hegemon and sent terrorists into Syria, and Israel and the US were sanctioned countries under arms embargo?
Iran needs to go big. Invade Saudi Arabia and seize the oil fields.Checkmate.
Go big or go home.