Iran’s geo-strategic orientations toward China and India

Mohsen Solhdoost*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Iran is pulled in different directions by China and India when it comes to their rivalry in economic and geopolitical spheres. Yet, Iran–which initially exploited the Sino-Indian rivalry to maximize its benefits following the 2015 nuclear deal–has strived to navigate ties between China and India to survive in the face of tough U.S. sanctions since 2018. This article, first, provides a brief discussion on historical precedents that have shaped Iran’s foreign policy in general. Then, the pivots of Iran-China-India triangular relationship are examined by looking at Iran’s a) involvement in China’s Belt and Road Initiative; b) partnership with China in the Iranian oil fields; c) participation in India’s International North-South Transport Corridor; and d) partnership with India in the Chabahar port. Finally, Iran’s reorientation in response to former President Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 deal and its reaction to President Biden’s possible return to the deal are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-77
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Indian Ocean Region
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Chabahar
  • China Pakistan economic corridor
  • international North–South Transport Corridor
  • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action


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