China Pivots to the Middle East and Iran

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action implemented in January ends Iran’s nuclear-weapons activities and encourages cooperation on civilian nuclear programs and investment. Though six countries signed the agreement with Iran, China is emerging as a principal beneficiary. “The West struggles to improve relations with Iran, a major market with 77 million people, as many hesitate to risk violating sanctions remaining in place,” explains Debalina Ghoshal, a consultant specializing in strategic affairs. Iran ranks fourth in the world with proven oil reserves, and its location on the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea is ideal for China’s One Belt, One Road Program. Ghoshal concludes, “China views Iran as an investment opportunity while Iran is grateful for China’s support, anticipating investments to play a role in reviving an economy stalled by the nuclear impasse.” – YaleGlobal