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Will China play a role in lessening US pressure on Iran?

As the United States continues to enforce its "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, the Islamic Republic is relying on China not as a sole savior but at least as part of the solution.

Amid the Trump administration's all-time high pressure on Iran, manifested in its decision not to extend sanctions waivers granted to Tehran's key oil customers, Iran-US tensions are reaching levels unseen in recent decades. To alleviate the burden on its shoulders, Iran might not be fully capitalizing on China as its leading oil buyer. Yet Beijing could continue to be a key part of Iran's solution to mitigate the impacts of biting US sanctions.

There is a lot about China to make it a valuable ally for Iran: It is Tehran's top trade partner, receives the largest share of Iran's crude exports and is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Above all, China is one of the committed signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and one of Tehran's major political allies.

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