onsdag 22. februar 2023

Neither China Nor Iran Will Get What They Want From Their Relationship

Behind the smiles from Iranian and Chinese leaders in Beijing this week, there may well be frustration. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited the Chinese capital with the hope of shoring up his country’s international support and extracting economic advantages from his country’s relationship with China. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping wanted to use the visit to push for a resolution to the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Unfortunately for both, neither are unlikely to get what they want.

For Raisi, it was important to show that Iran is not the international pariah that many in the West presume. Iran is also struggling economically; in addition to coping with the sanctions that were reimposed on the country after then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s economy has been sluggish, despite the apparent end of the pandemic. Inflation is high, at 40 percent, while GDP growth has been slowing, from 4.7 percent in 2021 to 3 percent in 2022 and a projected 2 percent this year, according to the IMF.