Tehran welcomes China’s presence in Middle East

Al-Monitor | : China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, visited Iran recently to discuss key developments in the region with high-ranking Iranian officials.

During the Oct. 21 trip, Iranian leaders described relations with China as strategic and called on Beijing to play a more prominent role in the Middle East. They also highlighted the achievements of the so-called “Axis of Resistance” (Iran, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah) in altering the balance of power in the region.

Jun also talked about the importance of stability in the region for China and the necessity of peaceful relations between rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Tehran and Beijing — both considered rising and revisionist powers, close partners and potential allies — have common strategic interests in influencing the new regional order in the Middle East. Moreover, the United States’ concurrent pressure on both countries has provided new ground for cooperation.

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