China Sharpens its Iran Policy

China Sharpens its Iran Policy

Beijing is monitoring the evolving United States-led Iran sanctions campaign with alarm and - as conflicting responses to an Israeli initiative indicate - some uncertainty. It suspects the Barack Obama administration may be as interested in leveraging the Iran crisis in order to reassert America’s world leadership at China's expense as it is in removing Iran's nuclear weapons threat.

Superficially, the current imbroglio over Iran's nuclear program recapitulates the alignment of forces familiar from previous years: Israel and the United States as the hostile outliers, the ambivalent EU in the middle, Russia, India, and the Middle Eastern states fishing in troubled waters, and Turkey and China siding with Iran against sanctions and for negotiations.

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