Reprinted from Telesur
If Iran successfully engages in a Chinese-style economic development program it would further enhance its geopolitical status and significance.
It's currently quite a toss-up when it comes to naming the hardest working man in geopolitical business: Chinese President Xi Jinping or Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Their paths crossed last week in Tehran in spectacular fashion as Xi and Rouhani clinched a crucial strategic partnership. The two nations agreed to increase bilateral trade to $600 billion over the next decade. Geostrategically, as I pointed out, that was a master class.
Beijing regards Iran, not only in Southwest Asia but across Eurasia, as the essential hub for countering Washington's much-advertised "pivot to Asia," centered on U.S. naval hegemony. No wonder Xi made it clear that Iran is to be accepted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as early as this year.
A strategic partnership implies Beijing's full support for the Iranian economic/political/diplomatic renaissance across the arc spanning the Persian Gulf to the Caspian -- and beyond. The arc also happens to span all the crucial New Silk Road maritime and land routes that are vitally important for the global projection of the Xi-coined Chinese dream.
And then, only a few days later, Rouhani was in Rome in a warm closed-door meeting with Pope Francis after clinching$17 billion in multiple deals.
This frantic post-sanction activity only enhances, in perspective, the absurdity of the Washington-manufactured Iranian nuclear crisis. Geopolitical realism, from Europe to Asia, cannot ignore a nation placed in the intersection of the Arab, Turk, Indian and Russian worlds, underscored by its role as privileged entry and exit point to the vast Caucasus-Central-Asia ensemble, which also includes Afghanistan.
Geostrategically, as the ultimate Eurasian crossroads, Iran is unbeatable, linking the Middle East, Caucasus, Central Asia, Indian subcontinent and Persian Gulf; between three seas -- Caspian, Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman; relatively close to the Mediterranean and Europe; and on the doorstep of Asia.
Xi did not have to talk explicit politics in Tehran as he was sufficed to clinch deal after deal to impress his point. The long-term trend, inevitably, is for China's One Belt, One Road vision to bridge the gap toward a Sino-Russian leadership across Eurasia, which translates practically into the progressive sidelining of the British-American imperial continuum. Meanwhile, Italy and France, during Rouhani's European tour, kept themselves busy playing catch-up.
The Next War|Pepe Escobar
Very good to watch, 45 mins but well worth it! https://youtu.be/hRhbs_m463A
When Khamenei Becomes Deng
The frantic post-sanction Iranian scene at least punctures the previous, relentless Western demonization and lays out the bases for economic development in just about every sphere. The Islamic Republic of Iran has faced a tremendous handicap for the past 36 years -- something that would have broken any less-resourceful society.