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Iran reinforces partnership with China for economic relief

Tehran appears to be staking its financial future on China, a move full of potential rewards — and risks.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) speaks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R)  during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China August 26, 2019.  How Hwee Young/Pool via REUTERS - RC1B2858A230

Facing an economic crisis in large part due to US sanctions, Iran soon may be aligning its policies toward China’s. Having recently updated the terms of a 25-year strategic partnership signed with Beijing in 2016, it looks like Tehran is indeed returning to its Look East foreign policy.

Considered an important player in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) megaproject, introduced in 2013, Iran has been pursued by Beijing for its energy resources and strategic location. But when economic sanctions on Iran were lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in 2015, Iran preferred to do business on a global basis.

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