A China-Iran bilateral deal: Costs all around

Author name: 
Jeffrey Payne
The Interpreter

By Jeffrey Payne

Beijing sees an opportunity in Tehran’s international isolation – but may not realise the tangle it is entering.

Rumors circling about an impending major partnership between China and Iran seem to be accurate. A leaked draft of the agreement published by the New York Times in July indicates that it would involve a deep economic partnership which would open the door for strategic action. Ample speculation about the deal followed the leak. It is fair to say that this agreement would have substantial geopolitical consequences for the Middle East and the Indian Ocean region. All regional actors would suffer political costs, directly or indirectly.

The National Security College, with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a two-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper analyses rumors about an impending major partnership between China and Iran. This paper first appeared on the Lowy Institute’s ‘The Interpreter’ on 2 September 2020.

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