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The Complications of Iran-China Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping with Iranian leader Ebrahim Raisi during the latter's visit to Beijing in February. Image: Iranian Presidency / AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to France provides an interesting moment to reflect on both the reality of China-Iran relations and how these are seen from the outside.

European leaders like EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen see China as wielding direct influence over Iran. For example, following a meeting with Xi, she said: “We believe China can play an important role in limiting the irresponsible proliferation of Iranian ballistic missiles and drones.”

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