Central Asia, Iran, China may expand trade co-op despite US sanctions
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
By Ali Mustafayev – Trend:
China-Iran trade relations seem to benefit from the existing anti-Iran sanctions, Gianluca Pastori, associate professor of history and political relations in Sacro Cuore Cattolica University in Italy, told Trend.
"Beijing can replace Western partners providing Tehran with the goods and technologies it badly needs, and is more than ready to do that. In the long term, this could lead to frictions with the United States. However, I don’t think this would really affect the Chinese attitude. Iran is strategically located on the East-West axis and plays a pivotal role in the OBOR (One Belt-One Road) project," said Pastori.
He also added that Iran can play an important role in fostering trade relations between China and Central Asian countries. "In its turn, Tehran needs to strengthen its regional ties, and Central Asian republics are ‘natural’ partners from many points of view," according to the expert.
"Greater cooperation can positively affect all the countries involved and since the US influence remains quite low, its political costs are limited," said Pastori.
The main effect of the sanctions will probably be on the willingness of Western companies to use Iran as a door to enter the Central Asian markets, Pastori said.
"However, as far as regional trade is concerned, I do not think they will have any relevant impact."
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