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Communists and Islamists Unite? By: Micah Halpern
MicahHalpern.com | Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Of all the countries in the world, which country poses the biggest threat to the United States? Without a doubt, the answer is China.

Of all the countries in the world, which country poses the largest challenge to the United States? Without a doubt, the answer is Iran.

China and Iran. Opposite ends of the world. But combined, they might just be able to accomplish some good - certainly for themselves but also for the rest of our world.

Now, finally, China has chosen to enter the Iranian nuclear power fray. And Iran is paying attention.

China's involvement with Iran became public when the assistant minister of foreign affairs for China paid a visit to Iran. While there he met with significant players in Iran's nuclear and security apparatus. His visit was important enough to warrant a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The meetings took place between February 24th and February 26th. Both the Iranian and Chinese spokesmen confirmed that nuclear issues were discussed. They both confirmed that China wanted to make certain that Iran's nuclear issues were resolved within the framework of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). And then China expressed the hope that all concerned parties would reach a compromise solution.

But China didn't stop there.

On Sunday March 5th, while speaking at the annual meeting of the National People's Parliament, China's foreign minister Li Zhaoxing issued a plea to Iran to resume meetings and talks on their nuclear program immediately. The Chinese foreign minister urged the Iranians to restart their discussions so as to resolve the problem diplomatically.

The "or else" was left hanging in mid-air.

For months I have maintained that the Chinese have clout with the Iranians that is second to none. The Chinese have credibility with the Iranians. The Chinese share mutual interests with the Iranians. The Chinese have standing that no other nation on earth can claim.

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. China has a $70 billion a year commitment to import oil from Iran. China and Iran are partnering on several other projects in energy development. China is the pre-eminent world leader in the anti-America campaign today

The impact of a China - Iran nexus of Iran is very powerful. And, making it palatable to the rest of the world is the idea that China is urging Iran to act responsibly.

What's the difference between China and American or China and Europe or even China and Russia when it comes to requesting that Iran cease and desist from their nuclear program until the IAEA can get back in and monitor the inner happenings of their program? Why will China succeed where every other country has tried, been laughed at, booted out and failed?

The difference is that unlike all the other nations, China is a very special and enormously larger client of Iran's. China buys oil from Iran. China buys lots and lots and lots more oil from Iran.

For Iran, China is the perfect intermediary. China is not an anti-Muslim state nor are they a Muslim state. Most important, China is not in the pocket of the United States. Iran knows that China can, has and will again stand up to the United States. Iran knows that China will not bend if they do not want to bend. Iran knows that China's vote in the UN Security Council is totally self-motivated. China is not a country that wants or will tolerate coddling or cajoling. China stands alone. China owns the image Iran has been trying to project.

And right now China understands the dangers of Iran going nuclear. They want the IAEA back in and they want discussions continued. Why? Because they do not want their own oil flow jeopardized. Self-motivation and self-interest at its best. But that's all right. Iran knows why China has chosen to get involved. Iran understands China's reasons and accepts them for everything they are worth.

And China's involvement with Iran is worth - a lot.

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Micah Halpern maintains The Micah Report.

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