Iran adapts to new realities in foreign relations

The development of Iran’s foreign relations no longer depends on the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This can be deduced from Iran’s diplomatic moves during the presidency of Ebrahim Raeisi. Upon taking office in August 2021, Raeisi decided to strengthen Iran’s ties with neighboring countries and non-Western world powers.

In the first weeks of his presidency, Ayatollah Raeisi succeeded in preparing the ground for Iran to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The process of granting full member status to Iran began last year, but it will be finalized at the next SCO summit to be held in Samarkand in mid-September. Acting Uzbek Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov recently said the organization was preparing the necessary documents for Iran to sign in order to become a full member. “In Samarkand, a memorandum on Iran’s obligations as a member of the SCO will be signed,” Norov said.

In addition to the SCO, Iran is also seeking to join the group of emerging economies called BRICS. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Iran was one of the first countries to become a member of BRICS+.

The BRICS include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Along with its efforts to join prestigious international institutions, the Raeisi administration has also launched an extensive diplomatic campaign to strengthen ties with some Arab countries in the West Asian region. President Raeisi and Amir-Abdollahian visited some Arab countries. Today, these efforts seem to bear fruit since the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have decided to send ambassadors to Iran soon. Regarding relations with Saudi Arabia, a meeting is being organized between the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad.

In addition, Iran has worked with China and Russia to sign strategic partnerships. On Friday afternoon, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with President Raeisi for an hour on a range of issues, including China’s desire to strengthen its strategic partnership with Iran.

“China views its relations with Iran from a strategic perspective and stands ready to work with Iran to push for further progress in the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership,” President Xi said at the meeting. the conversation, according to Xinhua.

Stressing the strategic importance of China-Iran relations and his country’s efforts to enhance key strategic and security cooperation between the two countries, especially in trade, economics, infrastructure and energy, the Chinese president said said: “The implementation of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation document agreement between the two countries is a big step in this direction, and on this basis, I issue the necessary orders for the development of comprehensive strategic relations with Iran , including in the economic field.

Raeisi and Xi also agreed to speed up the process of implementing the 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan by proposing cooperation development initiatives and expressing satisfaction with the development of relations and leaps in trade exchanges in the country. over the past year, according to a reading of the appeal. by the Iranian presidency.

All of this happened at a time when the situation around the 2015 nuclear deal is vague and unclear. However, Iran has said it will not tie its foreign policy to the fate of the JCPOA.

Nasser Kan’ani, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, recently said that Iran’s neighborhood policy is not contingent on the nuclear deal.

“False dichotomy between the JCPOA (of which Iran, unlike the United States, remains a party) and the good ties between Iran and its neighbors, inc. Russia does not hide the fact that the indecision of the United States United infidels is the main obstacle to a deal,” Kan’ani said on Twitter. “Our neighborhood policy is not contingent on JCPOA or U.S. clearance.

First published in Tehran Times