Iranian President Raisi Visits China

    Iranian President Raisi Visits China
    Last updated Feb 15, 2023
    Image credit: Middle East Monitor


    • Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday kicked off a three-day trip to China, marking the first state visit by an Iranian leader to China in 20 years. The visit is reportedly a move to boost bilateral political and economic ties.[1]
    • According to Chinese state television, Pres. Xi Jinping pledged to support Iran in protecting its national sovereignty and denounced an alleged policy of "unilateralism" and harassment against Iran amid rising tensions with the US.[2]
    • Xi also emphasized the traditionally close ties between the two countries and urged a swift resolution to the negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program. He also criticized alleged external attempts to interfere in Iran's internal affairs and destabilize the country.[3]
    • During Raisi's visit, China, which is Iran's largest trading partner, voiced its commitment to expand trade, agricultural, industrial, and infrastructure ties with Iran and import more high-value Iranian agricultural goods.[4]
    • According to the PRC government, 20 bilateral cooperation agreements were inked — which follows the signing of a 25-year strategic agreement between Iran and China in 2021 on cooperation in oil, industrial, and other sectors.[5]
    • Meanwhile, the US Dept. of State on Tuesday called on Beijing to exert its influence in convincing Tehran to abandon its alleged "destabilizing activities," stating that reducing potential threats in the region is in the interest of both the US and China.[6]


    Pro-China narrative

    The fact that the two ancient civilizations of Iran and China are deepening their political and economic ties is good news for the entire region. The fact that both face hegemonic oppression from Washington will in no way diminish their will to cooperate. In fact, it was the overcoming of US interference and sabotage that triggered many recent achievements in Sino-Iranian cooperation. Raisi's trip is a clear sign that a new multipolar order will continue to take shape.

    Anti-China narrative

    Tehran and Beijing's official statements cannot hide the fact that, in reality, their mutual ties still have issues. Tehran is upset that it has yet to reap the expected economic benefits from its pivot to China. Meanwhile, Beijing recently snubbed Tehran by tilting closer to one of its chief adversaries, Saudi Arabia. China and Iran's growing tensions with Washington are simply insufficient as a basis for putting their economic and political relations on a solid footing.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 47% chance that Iran will possess a nuclear weapon before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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