Iranian President Raisi Visits China

    Photo: Middle East Monitor

    The Facts

    • 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.

    • 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.

    The Spin

    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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