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  • Author: Mohsen Sahriatinia
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Iran-China bilateral relations, established in 1971, have experienced quite substantial change in the post-1979 period, especially since the end of the Cold War. Both countries, despite fundamental differences in ideology and governance structure, and based on a number of areas of commonality, most prominently similar international outlook as developing states of the South, and based on mutual need in economic fields, most notably energy, and also in the military field, chose to expand their relations in various areas. The present article looks into the development of these bilateral relations since early 1980s and discusses two sets of factors that have impacted them; conducive factors and constraining factors. The article argues that while the conducive factors have contributed to the expansion and deepening of Tehran-Beijing relations during the period under review, China's grand strategy towards becoming a world power and the requisite policy of rapprochement with the West, the U.S. in particular, have in fact intervened to constrain China's relations with other states – among them, Iran. Simultaneously, perpetuation of a state of tension between Iran and the U.S. in the post-1979 period, and especially since 2003 over the nuclear issue, and hence, U.S. pressure of sorts on China, have also played a critical role in complicating Iran-China relations. China's support since 2006 for the UN Security Council sanctions resolutions on Iran, despite Iran's emphasis on the “Look to the East Policy” since 2005, has reflected the Chinese predicament and served to constrain the relations, even to some extent in the energy field. The article concludes that notwithstanding inevitable constraints in Iran-China relations due to the factors involved, both countries will continue to maintain their relations in the economic and energy fields and on international-multilateral issues of mutual interest.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Beijing
  • Author: Mohammad Ali Mousavi, Yasser Norouzi
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: For almost three decades since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, there has consistently been a conflict between Iran and the United States over a host of issues. The relations between the two countries became more challenging since 2003 after it came to light that Iran had been developing its nuclear program. Since then some US officials have even gone so far as to announce - and repeat - the possibility of a military strike against Iranian facilities to end the nuclear program. In reality, up to now no such drastic action has taken place. Rather instead, in a milder reaction, the US, aided by its European allies and enjoying Russian and Chinese lukewarm acquiescence, has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Iran through the adoption of obligatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council. But, these actions have failed to force the Iranians to end their program. As a result, many experts argue that a new policy should be pursued toward Iran vis-a-vis its nuclear dossier. So the main challenge which poses itself is to predict when and how this conflict will come to an end. In this paper, different game theory models are used to interpret the current situation of the crisis. It is shown that while at each step it may be more favorable for each party to insist on its claims, the overall result of this approach may not be so favorable for all. As a result, both parties should think about the long term effects of their decisions. It is also shown that the absence of mutual trust could be the main factor that has forced both sides to reach the current point of crisis. Therefore, any attempt towards re-establishing mutual trust between the two governments might be a major step leading to a lasting solution. Furthermore, different possible choices for the US government and the long term effects of each choice will be analyzed. The analysis will also address economic aspects of the conflict, and the long-term effects of any decision and the best possible choices for both governments will be presented.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran