US sanctions on Iran have certainly turned Iran to Russia and China that the US regards as its major strategic competitors.
According to Foreign Affairs’s article “China and Russia Have Iran’s Back” on November 17, 2020, Iran regards China as a means to reduce the pressures of US sanctions and moreover as a source of financial, technological and military assistance.
The US has tried to use sanctions to block Iran’s export of oil and gas but China needs more than all Iran’s oil and gas so that, the article says “China has earmarked approximately $400 billion in investments to upgrade Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical industries and to improve the country’s overland transportation.”
In fact, there is a pipeline connecting Iran with Pakistan, which is now being expanded to China’s west for overland transportation of oil and gas to China. China has invested in Iran’s world largest natural gas field to help Iran extract natural gas and export it to China through pipeline.
Moreover, US sanctions have forced Iran to receive Chinese currency yuan for its exports of oil and gas to China. That helps internationalization of yuan and increase Iran’s and in addition, Russia’s imports from China as Iran will use yuan to buy Russian goods, especially Russian weapons.
Russia historically has much influence in the Middle East but the US has tried hard to drive Russia away. Russia has made great efforts to maintain its influence in Syria and Iran is helping Russia doing so. The article says, Iran’s “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has already been cooperating with Russian troops and auxiliaries in Syria.”
While the US has deployed an aircraft carrier battle group near Iran to threaten it, Russia is offering its advanced weapons to Iran to help it strengthen its defense and China is helping Iran expand its Jask Port and Chabahar’s airport for control of the Strait of Hormuz and build a regional eavesdropping post to intercept signals within a range of around 3,000 miles.
Trump’s pressures on Iran has facilitated the establishment and sttengthend the Russia-China-Iran iron triangle, a strong alliance against US hegemony in Asia and Middle East.
Categories: Politics & Law