Nuclear analysts: Watch China after gaming out Iran talks

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Energy traders weighing the probability of a revived nuclear accord between Iran and world powers might do better to train their gaze on Beijing rather than negotiations in Vienna. reports citing foreign media that the Iranians are actively cultivating China as their “main economic escape route” from U.S. sanctions, Peña Ruiz said. That leaves the fate of a deal dependent on whether Washington is able to get China on the same page about Iran.

While Beijing largely recognized United Nations sanctions prior to the 2015 agreement, it’s opposed to unilateral U.S. penalties and has called for them to be lifted. Nonetheless, Chinese companies have largely curtailed work in Iran to avoid being locked out of the global financial system by secondary sanctions.

Meanwhile, Iran, with the world’s No. 2 gas and No. 4 oil reserves, is seeking tighter integration with Beijing and Moscow to help replace sanctioned trade with Western economies. Last month, Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Chinese- and Russian-led economic-security alliance across central Asia.

While China has repeatedly said that reviving the Iran deal is essential to maintaining nonproliferation norms, the lure of Iranian oil could outweigh concerns that Tehran may secretly develop a nuclear weapon. Four of the world’s nine nuclear powers are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with two of them -- India and Pakistan - outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

2021.10.16 / 10:13
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