China views Iran as a central element in its much-touted Silk Road Economic Belt, which aims to extend Beijing’s influence overland through Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and Europe.
ROBERT STEELE: Lovely piece. It was my privilege to watch Iran from an analyst perch in Kabul for six months, and I found it interesting to note that Herat was once a capital of the Persian Empire; that the Iranian port quickly beat out the Pakistani port for trade from Central Asia to India because the Pakistanis were corrupt and ineffecient; and that Iran is vastly closer to the Northern Alliance in all respects than the US Government would ever admit (to the extent it is paying attention). I have no direct knowledge, but I would imagine the Chinese consider the Pakistanis dangerous for their nuclear capability made possible by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Saudi money, as well as their complete duplicity in all matters dealing with the tribes and the Durand Line that I hope is one day removed — Afghanistan needs to reclaim all Pashtun lands. Pointing to your piece from Phi Beta Iota on the 13th.