Afternoon Voice

Iran looks wearily to China for help as US sanctions resume

It’s hard not to see China wherever you look in Iran.

From Chinese goods flooding markets to its business people eager for deals as Western business interests flee, Iran likely will further embrace Beijing as an alternative market for its crude oil and financial transactions amid uncertainty over the nuclear deal.

That doesn’t mean China offers a safe haven to Iran without conditions.

Beijing will try to extract the maximum benefit, analysts say, and there is growing concern that China may take advantage of Iran.

Trade and ties between China and Iran date back over 2,000 years to the ancient Silk Road caravan routes that brought the textile to Europe.

Modern relations began under then-ruler Mohammad Reza Shah in 1971 after the Americans acknowledged Beijing’s Communist government.

The 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the Shah caused ties to cool until the mid-1980s.