From Silk to Sanctions and Back Again: Contemporary Sino-Iranian Economic Relations – By Aaron Morris

This paper proceeds as follows. First, an in-depth examination of the history and rapid growth of Sino-Iranian economic ties provides the contextual background necessary to understand the current state and future direction of the bilateral economic relationship. Next, the current status of the Sino-Iranian trade relationship is examined in greater depth, with a focus on energy exports and large-scale investment projects. The third section overviews the development of the international sanctions regime against Iran, and the strain that U.S., UN, and EU sanctions placeon Sino-Iranian economic relations. Finally, the future of the Sino-Iranian economic relationship is examined through the lens of China’s new “Silk Road” strategy, which seeks to connect China to the Middle East via overland road, rail, and pipeline routes.

Aaron Morris, Fletcher MALD 2012, is a second year student concentrating in DevelopmentEconomics and International Business Relations.Aaron has a background in private sector consultingand international development. He spent the summerof 2011 working on social enterprise initiatives inLiberia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Timor Leste as aFellow with Peace Dividend Trust.

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