China reigning in Iran?
China may be losing patience with Iran's nuclear blustering. Shahram Kholdi notes that China signed a major oil pipeline deal with Russia, a move with indicates that China is not prepared to be wholly dependent on a volatile state like Iran for its energy needs:
There were rumours, a fortnight ago, that during negotiations with Iranians over various trade and foreign policy related issues, the Iranians told the Chinese that they would not withdraw from their uncompromising stance over the nuclear issue. The Chinese officials told the Islamic Republic off, and strongly advised them that they have to take a more productive and pragmatic stance.
Ayatollah Khamenei certainly knows that if everybody begins to turn to a more reliable source of energy, like Russia, instead of Iran, Iran's bargaining chips in the nuclear talks will evaporate in less than a year. Let's see what their next move will be. It is becoming interesting.Shahram sees the Ayatollah Khamenei's willingness to negotiate with the US over Iraq as a sign that Chinese pressure is nudging Iran towards greater engagement with the US.