Iran and China
- Iran is a linchpin in China’s regional energy security strategy. Iran has a strategic commodity essential to China’s primary goal — sustainable economic development. The more China grows, the less it acts like a responsible stakeholder due to its energy needs.
- Iran has focused on rebuilding its refinery capabilities, hedging against U.S.-led sanctions, and advancing its nuclear energy capabilities. China plays an important role as a major commercial and political partner.
- An unintended consequence of U.S.-led sanctions is more opportunity for Iran and China to cooperate. For China, fewer European and Asian investors means less competition for its companies in Iran and more access to Iranian energy. For Iran, China provides a coping mechanism amid international efforts to squeeze Tehran.
- Deepening symbiotic relations raise the prospect of a nuclear Iran and a less responsible Chinese stakeholder. Beijing’s economic priorities will make it less able to substantively support global attempts to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
- Speaker of the Iranian Islamic parliament Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (June 1985)
- President Ali Khamenei (May 1989)
- Speaker Mehdi Karroubi (December 1991)
- President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (September 1992)
- First Vice-President Hassan Habibi (August 1994)
- President Mohammad Khatami (June 2000)
- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (June 2006)
- First Vice President Parviz Davoodi (October 2008)
- First Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi (October 2009)
- Chairman of the National People’s Congress Wan Li (May 1990)
- Premier Li Peng (July 1991)
- President Yang Shangkun (October 1991)
- Chairman of the National People’s Congress Qiao Shi (November 1996)
- State Councilor Wu Yi (March 2002)
- President Jiang Zemin (April 2002)
- Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (November 2004)
- Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (November 2007)
- Beijing’s growing energy needs are likely to only deepen Iran-China relations for the foreseeable future. China will be relying on the Middle East for 70 percent of its oil imports by 2015—up from 44 percent in 2006, according to the International Energy Agency.
- As Beijing’s energy dependence on Tehran grows deeper, its ability to substantively support the international community's efforts to halt Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons development activities will be further constrained.
- Without some compromise between Tehran and the international community on its controversial nuclear program, the Iranian leadership is likely to turn increasingly to China to help it cope economically and politically.
- Iran’s chronic domestic economic and political challenges pose the greatest threat to regime stability in Tehran and energy security for Beijing.
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"The Iran Primer"--Book Overview
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