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WASHINGTON – Trade and security ties between China and Iran have reached a point that their leadership is declaring the relationship to be “strategic,” a development that no doubt will further complicate relations between Washington and Beijing, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Trade volume between China and Iran is expected to increase to $100 billion in the near future as an outgrowth of agreements struck between the two countries at the latest summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana, Kazakhstan.

“Tehran’s economic, political, and cultural relations with Beijing and their coordination on international affairs are strategic,” said Tehran’s ambassador to Beijing, Mehdi Safari.

Beijing doesn’t recognize the unilateral sanctions that have been imposed on Iran by the United States and other countries of the European Union in addition to sanctions which were imposed by the United Nations due to Iran continuing its nuclear enrichment program.

According to informed sources, China’s strategic relationship with Iran actually is hampering the success of any containment policy against Iran which is asserting its influence from the Middle East to Central Asia in China’s areas of interest.

This relationship is becoming increasingly important given the interest that China has in Afghanistan, where Iran exerts considerable influence. China also is looking to Iran to help with its own restive Islamist militant problem with the Uighurs in its western-most province of Xinjiang.

Beijing hopes that Tehran’s Shi’ite form of Islam, as opposed to the Wahhabist militancy of Saudi Arabia, will have a more moderating influence on the Uighurs. In effect, sources say, Islam in fact could become an element that will further consolidate Sino-Iranian relations

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