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EghtesadOnline: Iran needs to work more closely with Russia and China to counter the United States, but should not confine itself to a limited number of partners as going down this path does not benefit the country in the long run, a former official said.

Washington has made it clear that it wants to confront Tehran, Moscow and Beijing so these nations should increase their cooperation to resist the policies of their "common enemy", Ebrahim Rahimpour, who previously served as deputy foreign minister for Asia-Pacific affairs, told ISNA in a recent interview. 

On the 70th anniversary of NATO, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appealed for unity to confront "great power" challenges from Russia, China and Iran, according to Financial Tribune.

"We have rightly sought peace through strength here in NATO. We must continue to do so, especially in this new era of great power competition from Russia, from China and the Islamic Republic of Iran," he told a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers on April 4, the Telegraph reported.

Rahimpour said forging closer ties with China and Russia does not mean "not working with Europe". 

"In my opinion, the more limited our partnerships are in the field of foreign policy, the more problems we will face. So it is wrong to restrict ourselves to China and Russia," he said.  

“Russia and China have maintained their ties with the United States, despite differences of opinion on a range of issues.”

The former official noted that interacting with a broad and diverse set of partners can help improve economic conditions. 



Post-Nuclear Deal Era 

On Tehran's relations with Moscow and Beijing in the post-nuclear deal era, the former official said Iran somehow ignored Russia and China in the past, which led to resentment on their part. 

"This should not have happened," he said, stressing that the current situation requires that Iran pay more attention to these countries and strengthen its relations with them.

Iran's economy has been squeezed since the administration of US President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord last year and reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran. 

The agreement, which was signed by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, has steadily unraveled amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington. 

Rahimpour also said Iran itself is to blame for the fact that its economic relationship with European countries is far from "strategic". 

"We had rather extensive relations with countries such as Germany, France, Britain and Italy in the economic field, but these relations never became strategic in nature. We have always been an exporter of oil and an importer of goods, and we ourselves are to blame for this," he said.

"We have had shortcomings that we need to address. We cannot point the finger of blame at others," Rahimpour added. 


Iran Russia China Ebrahim Rahimpour Engage Broader Partners