Abstract. If Tehrān today looks at Beijing and Moscow, the West can only regret itself short-sightedness in foreign policy. Iran’s admission to the SCO breaks the international isolation due to the US sanctions. The new Raisi’s leadership and even the so-called “moderates” have not ignored the problem, which risks bringing the nation to its knees. There is no doubt the American unilateral JCPOA withdrawal and its muscular use of force in the Middle East have prompted Iran to accentuate its geopolitical vision towards the East already there.
The Islamic Republic has sure developed intense relationships with China and Russia. Tehrān looks with sizeable openness to the Belt and Road Initiative, and trustfully at the strategic alliance with Moscow in the Middle East, even though problems do not lack, especially in the Caucasian area. In addition, Beijing and Moscow are JCPOA’s partners and may play an important role in regaining nuclear talks. The mediation capacity of Chinese and Russian leaderships centres their flexibility. All that is also part of the US-China harsh dispute, which has its explicit exhibition in the Gulf and Indo-Pacific geostrategic theatres. India, Central Asia, Caucasus, Caspian, Middle East, including Israel are areas where China will be again a power mediating opposing interests. Iran, as well, will have to bear in mind that the Chinese non-interference policy excludes it can align to the logic of the blocks, also considering its good attitude to Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Israel.
The relations between the Islamic Republic and the Russian Federation are ambivalent and mainly concern the transport corridors crossing the Caucasus and Caspian. Iran may have both interests in keeping its axis with Armenia and Russia on the North-South Corridor and opening to Turkey and Azerbaijan on geostrategic grounds. Mutual distrust arises precisely from the uncertainty of the geopolitical framework and the mutability of alliances, which, outside the past ideological, are flexible and built on the 21st-century far-sighted parameters.
Keywords: Iran, China, Russia, SCO, Belt and Road Initiative, JCPOA, sanctions, transport corridors, non-interference, USA-China dispute, logic of the blocks, Indo-Pacific, Central Asia, Middle East, Caucasus, Caspian
Writer, independent scholar of Political Islam, director and manager of the website www.islamicworld.it