Iran and China History Edit

The earliest contact Iran and China had was during the Parthian Empire which was later conquered by the Sassanid Empire. Their merchants traded for Indian gems, opium, spices, and Chinese silk. However, nomadic Turkic tribes fought with Iran to divert control of the silk road routes to move north along the Volga, Black Sea, and towards The Byzantine Empire. Although Iran was a portion of the larger Sassanid Empire it still contains large amounts of  monuments of the Silk Road period.

After the conquest of Persia by the Rashidun Caliphate in 633, trade from the silk road flourished as around that time the Tang Dynisty took control of silk road routes from Tibet. Along with this monetary gain, Islam spread to the east along the trade routes. This also happened to be in the middle of the Golden Age of Islam. As well as religion and wealth, knowledge in medicine, and astronomy. China in return left the Islamic World with lasting cultural changes. People were being depicted in Islamic art for the first time (as it was considered forbidden in Islam), and inventions such as gunpowder and paper made its' way to the west.

Iran and China Today Edit

After many years, Iran and China have created many agreements that overtime started to contribute to the New Silk Road.  They started off by creating a military cooperation agreement on November 15th, 2016, and have also had many joint naval drills in Persian Gulf Waters. China recently has provided expertise to Iran by helping to develop and design technology that can be seen in many Iranian missiles. Both countries because of their proximity are interested in deals involving oil. By creating many of these relations they have started to contribute to the New Silk Road and they have done this politically and economically.

Relationships between China and Iran is very recent but relations between the people and cultures have been traced back to since 200 BC. China is trying to change to petroleum from coal so trades between china and Iran has increased from 1974 to 1990. China and Iran's trade reached 1.627 billion dollar in 1980's and 15 billion in 2007. Iran's imports from china rose to 360% from the year 2000 to the year 2005. When Iran open up its market to Chinese industries in 1988 the PRC quickly began economic restructures. Both countries traded important minerals like zinc and iron to benefit each others country.
Iran china

Over 25 countries have gotten on board to help China develop their new silk road Iran happens to be one of them. Iran believes that "the plan will play an important role in the global development and relations among countries." Iran has 8731 kilometers of territorial borders within 15 countries. There are links between Iran and Greater Central Asia that include territorial borders with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Iran will be playing a major role in Central Asias plan for the New Silk Road; the shortest and most natural route full run through the open seas of Iran. Iran can easily find partners to help with the construction of roads, railroads, and pipelines, due to Iran's orientation towards the central Asia region. Central Asia wants to take advantage of its strategic location between Turkey and Arab states by developing transport infrastructure.

There are several reasons for China's pivot to the Middle East and most notably Iran. China's demand for oil imports is expected to grow from 6 million barrels per day to 13 million by 2035, and Iran, ranked fourth in the world in proven oil reserves and second in terms of natural gas reserves, is considered a reliable supplier. Not to mention Iran's geostrategic location has made it the key link in China's New Silk Road to Europe. Both these reasons contribute to Iran and China's relationship.

After Trump cancelled the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, Iran is now opening up to China. As Iran is influential for the New Silk Road, China is investing millions into building up infrastructure for the future silk road. None of this have moved up to the large scale as it is more beneficial for Iran to be geopolitically isolated to open them ip to China.

Bibliography Edit

“Iran on the Silk Road.” People of Armenia: Ethnic Origin and Ethnic Groups, Advantour,

“Iran on the Silk Road.” People of Armenia: Ethnic Origin and Ethnic Groups, Advantour,

Theobald, Simon. “After US Withdrawal, Iran Embraces China.” East Asia Forum, Crawford School of Public Policy, 5 June 2018,