Ali Akbar Velayati: “The reason for Iran’s interest in cooperating with China and Russia”

10:59 19.08.2022 •

In an interview Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, described Iran, Russia, and China as three major independent powers in Asia that stand against the United States and the West. These are some key issues he commented on and the assessments he made:

- We are one of the few countries in the world that clearly stands against the United States, strongly continues its political life, and establishes relations and deals with other countries. So, what's wrong with us having relations with countries like Russia, China, and India?! These countries have advanced technology, and many times, unlike the West, they have been responsive to our requests and offered their capabilities to us. What else should we expect from an allied country?

- Russia can be useful for us with regards to economic benefits in terms of geopolitics, transit, opportunities and capacities. This is one of the most important areas of our regional cooperation with the East. Let me show you an example on the map. If India wishes to export its products to the Baltic region and pay less for transit, it has to go through our territory. This means it must use the port of Chabahar and the transit lines going from the Southeast to the Northwest of Iran. In this way, it will save at least 40% in costs and 40% in time, instead of gaining access by way of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Suez Canal, Gibraltar, and the Mediterranean to the Baltic region.

- The route from the Chabahar Port and the transit line going from the North to the South of Iran is considered to be the best and most economical transit route for Russia.

- China's transit route is on the Silk Road, which has a historical precedent.

- One of the blessings given to our country by God is our geopolitical situation and that we are located on the main East-West Corridor. Thus, we have good options for dealing with other countries.

- Unfortunately, in terms of compliance with American policies and unconditional acceptance of their impositions in foreign policy, European countries have degraded their position to such an extent that is unprecedented in European history. In such a situation, how can some people naively say we should take a step toward the West?! Which West?! The same West that is always spreading false propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran under pressure from the United States... This is the same West for which some naive officials in the past encouraged us to stop cooperating with China in the field of oil and gas for a French oil company.

- Of course, I must say that China and Russia have not signed a pact of brotherhood with us and they surely act based on their own interests, but they act more wisely than the West! Today, there are three important powers in Asia. This includes Iran, Russia, and China, which are independent and stand against the expansionism of the United States and the West.

- In recent months, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom have started naval drills against China in the Indian Ocean. In a countermeasure, the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, and Russia immediately conducted joint naval drills in the northern Indian Ocean.

- Iran and China are the custodians of the culture and civilization of the East, and Russia too upholds two sides.

- All three of these countries cooperate with each other based on these common goals – countering the expansionism and hegemony of the United States and the West against the independent East. All three countries are independent and none of them are connected to any foreign power and do not try to appease them. All three countries are supported by their nations.

- All three countries are the main members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is a rapidly growing, comprehensive organization. Our membership, along with Russia, in the Eurasian Customs Union is remarkable, and it has recently had some good advantages for Iran. Among those which we can mention is the removal of customs tariffs or their significant reduction, resulting in significant exports from Iran to this Union within a short period of time.

- In the case of Iran and Russia, a wide range of mutual interests can be specified. Not only do both countries have technology and knowledge, but they also have good resources. In addition, both of them have been affected by the cruel sanctions of the West. This provides a suitable platform for joint cooperation.

- What is certain is that the reason for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interest in cooperating with China and Russia is the interaction of the parties in cooperation and support of each other.