Need for Realistic, Multipolar Foreign Policy

Need for Realistic, Multipolar Foreign PolicyNeed for Realistic, Multipolar Foreign Policy

It is essential for Iran to adopt a realistic and multipolar approach to international relations and expand ties with both the East and the West, according to an expert on international affairs. 
“Neither a sole look to the East and … dependence on Russia and China, nor abiding by western policies can be advantageous,” Fereydoon Majlesi said in an interview with the Iranian Diplomacy website. 
Iranian authorities have been shifting the focus of foreign relations toward the East since western powers proved unable or unwilling to guarantee the country’s interests under a 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
The agreement was signed by six major powers, but the United States pulled out unilaterally in 2018 and restored tough sanctions on Tehran while European parties failed to fulfill their commitments to protect Iran’s benefits.    
The government’s drafting of a 25-year strategic agreement with China and extension of a 20-year contract with Russia have received mixed reactions domestically. 
Opponents of the policy argue against the agreements, using terms such as “sale” or “colonization” of the country while proponents believe that developing strategic ties with eastern countries is the only way for Iran’s progress.   
Majlesi said what is ignored by both groups is the country’s national interests. 
Critics, according to him, arouse an anti-Chinese sentiment without a proper understanding of the country’s economic conditions and the difficulties arising from both the US sanctions and the devastating consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This group neither has a true understanding of Iran’s sentimental, economic, social, political and security conditions … nor has concerns for the country’s interests and [ways to] weather the grave economic crisis,” he said. 



Superficial View

Staunch advocates, on the other hand, slam nuclear negotiations and JPOCA, insisting that the only way for the country’s development is by expanding ties with the East alone, he added. 
“It is a superficial view of foreign policy to think that Russia and China are standing by Iran as strategic allies against the US, whereas Washington’s relations with Beijing and Moscow are entirely different from its policies toward Tehran,” the analyst said. 
Majlesi noted that China’s growing economic power and Russia’s military capabilities as well as the two countries’ political support for Iran at the United Nations Security Council through their veto power cannot be disregarded. 
“Nevertheless, Iran should not rely on only one side so that it will be practically compelled to grant special privileges to China and Russia under such contracts,” he said, warning that both countries may see Iran’s economic issues as an opportunity to exert their will.
“We should not be directed in a way that we eventually fall into the trap of Beijing and Moscow due to our current problems and difficulties,” he said. 

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