China–Iran deal: much ado about nothing?

Camille Lons & Meia Nouwens, International Institute for Strategic Studies|

Photo by Sam Beasley on Unsplash
Photo by Sam Beasley on Unsplash

The establishment of a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Iran has made headlines, but as Camille Lons and Meia Nouwens explain, Middle Eastern leaders are by no means naïve. While they shake hands with the East, all eyes remain on the West. The signing of the long-awaited China–Iran 25-year cooperation programme was the crowning achievement of a tour of the Middle East by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, which included visits to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the UAE, Bahrain and Oman, and saw Wang layout a five-point initiative for the Middle East and propose to host an Israel–Palestine dialogue, as well as a multilateral Gulf security dialogue.


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