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China $400bn-investment in Iran blow to US pressure policy: Analysis

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on August 26, 2019. (AFP photo)

China has taken a major step to upset the United States in its efforts to isolate Iran economically by committing to several hundred billions of dollars in investment in the Islamic Republic, says an analytic report.

The analysis published on the website of the Forbes magazine said that reports about China’s growing economic activity in Iran, which is estimated to be nearly $400 billion for the next 25 years, shows that Beijing is determined to use the gaps created between Iran and the US to further undermine US global clout.

“Amidst historic US-Iran tensions, Beijing is doubling-down on its strategic partnership with Tehran, ignoring US efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic from global markets,” said Ariel Cohen in his analysis.

The author said reports about China’s huge investment in Iran comes at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East where recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations, which Washington blames on Iran, have cut the kingdom’s oil production in half.

He said China is using the divisions in the region to its benefits while trying to include Iran in its massive Belt and Road initiative (BRI), a project which seeks to facilitate China’s access to Europe through the Central Asia region.

The report said the growing Iran-China cooperation would benefit both sides, as China would take the long-term economic advantage and outdo the US in the two country’s close rivalry while Iran would strengthen its economic and political status in the region.

“Tehran gains an additional ally on the UN Security Council, and an economic lifeline with a secure oil and petrochemicals market,” said Cohen.

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