The Empire’s Worst Nightmare – The Russia-Iran-China Triangle Part 2 (of a 2 Part series)

 In this part 2, we will discuss Iran’s relations with Russia and China.

Target Russia…

Iran & Russia

Relations between the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Persian Empire (Iran) officially commenced in 1521,  Past and present contact between Russia and Iran have long been complicatedly multi-faceted; often wavering between collaboration and rivalry. The two nations have a long history of geographic, economic, and socio-political interaction. Mutual relations have often been turbulent and dormant at other times.

The Russian Empire had an oppressive role in Iran during the 19th and early 20th centuries which harmed Iran’s development, and during most of the ensuing Soviet period, the shadow of the “big northern neighbor” continued to impact. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the two neighboring nations have generally enjoyed very close cordial relations. The common 2000 km border between the Soviet Union and Iran had allowed Soviet troop’s ready access to Iran or parts of it. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Russia is no longer a neighbor of Iran. This measure of geographical separation has given the Iranians greater confidence in dealing with Russia.

In addition, economic, trade and technological cooperation between the two countries are expanding at the very time that Washington is attempting to intensify its economic sanctions against Iran and politically isolate it internationally. The significance of the rapprochement between Russia and Iran will be better understood if it is put in the context of the hostility between Iran and the USA.

The new phase in the relations between the two countries developed when in May 1995  Russian President Yeltsin refused President Clinton’ s request to abandon a $1 billion sale to Iran of a light water nuclear reactor, incidentally on the same site started by West Germany in the late 1970s.

Iran and Russia are strategic allies and form an axis in the Caucasus alongside Armenia. Iran and Russia are also military allies in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and partners in Afghanistan and post-Soviet Central Asia. The Russian Federation is also the chief supplier of arms and weaponry to Iran. Due to Western economic sanctions on Iran, Russia has become a key trading partner, especially in regard to the Iran’s oil reserves. Currently Russia and Iran share a close economic and military alliance, and both countries are subject to heavy sanctions by most Western nations.

Militarily, Iran is the only country in Western Asia that has been invited (in 2007) to join the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Russia-based international treaty organization that parallels NATO. As soon as he became president, Vladimir Putin pursued close friendship with Iran and deepened Russian military cooperation with Iran and Syria. In 2015, Putin ordered a military intervention in Syria, supporting the Assad regime and its Iranian allies with an aerial bombing campaign against the Western-backed regime-change operation.. While much of the Iranian military uses Iranian-manufactured weapons and domestic hardware, Iran still purchases some weapons systems from Russia. In turn, Iran assisted Russia with its drone technology and other military technology during its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia and Iran also share a common interest in limiting the political influence of the United States in Central Asia. This common interest has led the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to extend to Iran as observer status in 2005, and offer full membership in 2006. The Iranians attained full membership status on 17 September 2021. Moscow and Beijing supported Tehran’s successful bid for full membership in the SCO. Soon, Iran will become the newest member of BRICS.

It’s all about the INSTC –International North-South Transportation Corridor

In December 2022, Russia and Iran announced a new transcontinental trade route from the eastern edge of Europe to the Indian Ocean. The passage spans 3,000-kilometers and could be established beyond the reach of Western sanctions. Russia and Iran share similar economic pressures amid sanctions – and both look east to integrate their growing economies.

Astrakhan happens to be the key Russian hub of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), a vast network of ship, rail, and road routes which will drastically increase trade from Russia – but also parts of Europe – across Iran to West Asia and South Asia, and vice-versa.

All that relates to the immensely strategic geo-economic role of the INSTC, which is a much cheaper and faster trade corridor than the old Suez Canal route.


Moreover, Russia has become Iran’s largest foreign investor: this includes “$2.7 billion worth of investment to two petroleum projects in Iran’s western province in the past 15 months.” That’s about 45 percent of the total foreign investment in Iran over the October 2021 – January 2023 period.

Of course the whole process is in its initial stages – as Russia-Iran bilateral trade amounts to only US$3 billion annually. But a boom is inevitable, due to the accumulated effect of SEPAM-SPFS, INSTC, and EAEU interactions, and especially further moves to develop Iran’s energy capacity, logistics, and transport networks, via the INSTC. Moreover, that is inscribed in the looming Big Picture on which the expanded BRICS+ is focusing: Eurasia (and beyond) integration via multimodal economic corridors such as the INTSC, pipelines and high-speed railways.

Russian projects in Iran are multi-faceted: energy, railways, auto manufacturing, and agriculture. In parallel, Iran supplies Russia with food and automotive products. Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, is fond of reminding anyone that Russia and Iran “play complementary roles in global energy and cargo transit.” The Iran-EAEU free agreement (FTA) is nearly finalized – including zero tariffs for over 7,500 commodities.

In 2022, the EAEU traded more than $800 billion worth of goods. Iran’s full access to the EAEU will be inestimable in terms of providing a market gateway to large swathes of Eurasia – and bypassing US sanctions as a sweet perk. A realistic projection is that Tehran can expect $15 billion annual trade with the five members of the EAEU in five years, as soon as Iran becomes the sixth member.

The INSTC is absolutely crucial in this overall equation. Both Russia and Iran are investing at least $25 billion to boost its capabilities.

Ships sailing the Don and Volga Rivers have always traded energy and agricultural commodities. Now Iran’s Maritime News Agency has confirmed that Russia will grant their ships the right of passage along the inland waterways on the Don and Volga.

Meanwhile, Iran is already established as the third largest importer of Russian grain. From now on, trade on turbines, polymers, medical supplies, and automotive parts will be on a roll. The Russian Journal for Economics predicts that just the freight traffic on INTSC could reach 25 million tons by 2030 – no less than a 20-fold increase compared to 2022- bilateral trade can soon reach $40 billion a year. Inside Iran, new terminals are nearly ready for cargo to be rolled off ships to railroads crisscrossing the country from the Caspian to the Persian Gulf.

Tehran’s plans are extremely ambitious, inserted in an “Eastern Axis” framework that privileges regional states Russia, China, India, and Central Asia.

Geostrategically and geoeconomically, that implies a seamless interconnection of INSTC, EAEU, SCO, and BRICS+. And all of this is coordinated by the one Quad that really matters: Russia, China, India, and Iran.

Of course there will be problems. The intractable Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict might be able to derail the INSTC: but note that Russia-Iran connections via the Caspian can easily bypass Baku if the need arises. And, crucially, this new route bypasses the Hormuz Straits and the Suez Canal. It is cheaper and faster.

The Asian SWIFT

In early February 2023, Tehran and Moscow announced they fully linked the Russian Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia (SPFS) with Iran’s SEPAM national financial messaging service; both countries had been excluded from SWIFT. Bilateral economic ties had intensified since sanctions were placed on Russia after the 2022 Russian invasion of the Ukraine.  As both countries face dramatically devalued currencies, Russia and Iran aim to link their payment system to larger economies such as India and China.

News of Russian banks connecting to Iran’s financial messaging system strengthens the resistance against US-imposed sanctions on both countries and accelerates global de-dollarization; confirming that the share of ruble and riyal in mutual settlements already exceeds 60 percent.  This bypasses western sanctions. The key advantage is that SEPAM and SPFS are immune to the US and western sanctions ruthlessly imposed on Tehran and Moscow. Once the full deal is up and running, all Iranian and Russian banks can be interconnected.

It is no wonder the Global South is paying very close attention. This is likely to become a landmark case in bypassing Belgium-based SWIFT – which is essentially controlled by Washington, and on a minor scale, the EU. The success of SEPAM-SPFS will certainly encourage other bilateral or even multilateral deals between states. The Central Banks of Iran and Russia are also working to establish a stable coin for foreign trade, replacing the US dollar, the ruble, and the rial. This would be a digital currency backed by gold, to be used mostly in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Astrakhan, in the Caspian Sea, already very busy moving plenty of Iranian cargo. And that reflects the full geoconomic dimension of the SEPAM-SPFS deal. The Russian Central Bank moved early to set up SPFS in 2014, when Washington began threatening Moscow with expulsion from SWIFT. Merging it with the Iranian SEPAM opens up a whole new horizon, especially given Iran’s ratification as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and now a leading candidate to join the extended BRICS+ club.

The Geopolitical Equation

Look at the map. Iran is just below Russia. It is one of 5 states that share the Caspian Sea.  The Rockefeller Empire has focused laser-like on Iran, especially since it has lost control of Iran from March 1979 till now. The American and Israeli focus on Iran intensified after 1992. If the family’s’ dream of regime-change in Teheran were to succeed, what would be the implications of an Iran in the US orbit?

There are 3 key reasons;

The FIRST, is that an American –controlled Iran would be used by the US to destabilize Russia in the Caucasus and its south. It would also acts as a “shield”, cutting off Russia from the Middle East and access to warm water ports.

The SECOND is that the US would be in a prime position to cut-off oil and gas supplies to China. Since oil-dependency is China’s vulnerability, the US would be able to dictate China’s political trajectory.

The THIRD is that Iran will be used by both Israel and the US AGAINST the Gulf Arab petro-states. The aim is to destabilize, destroy, loot and plunder.

It is fortunate that over the past 4 decades, Iran has built up a powerful deterrence to its enemies. Iran has become the strongest military power in the Middle East. Western sanctions have helped greatly in this aspect.

Before we get there, the fact is Iran has already turned West Asian geopolitics upside down – via its smart cruise missiles, extremely effective kamikaze drones, electronic warfare and even state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles. This was most vividly on display happened after the US assassinated Qasim Suleiman-head of Iran’s IRGC group. Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on the Ayn Al Asad base. More than 10 missiles hit the base, multiple American casualties. This was FIRST TIME that a 3rd rate military power has successfully attacked a US military base, with precision missiles. . The date was 20th January, 2020 this showed to the world that the US military is a “paper tiger”.  And, the US did – – – NOTHING!

Empire “planners” never saw this coming: a Russia-Iran strategic partnership that not only makes total sense geoeconomically, but is also a military force multiplier.

Target China…

Iran & China:

Official relations between China and Iran began in 1937. The two civilizations have had a history of cultural, political, and economic exchanges along the Silk Road since at least 200 BC, and possibly earlier. To this day, China and Iran have developed a friendly economic and strategic partnership.

In March 2021, Iran and China signed a 25-year cooperation agreement that will strengthen the relations between the two countries and that will include “political, strategic and economic” components One of the main pillars of the relationship is oil and gas. China switched to petroleum primarily to move its energy supply from coal. There was a rapid increase in oil importation from 1994 to now. Not only is China helping to develop the oil and gas sector, but China supports Iran’s ambitions to bring Caspian Sea oil and gas to Southern Iranian ports through pipelines so the resources can be exported to Europe and Asia. Iran relies upon its oil sales to China to ensure its fiscal well-being. China also sells gasoline to Iran despite international pressures that have halted Iran’s ability to get gasoline from other suppliers. China considers Iran a permanent partner for its exports and a source of its growing energy demand.

As of 2019, Iran has signed onto Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s signature One Belt One Road plan, and Iran is considered to be a key part of China’s geopolitical ambitions in central Asia and the Middle East, sometimes described in terms of a new Great Game. While cargoes are usually shipped between China and Iran by ship, it is also possible to travel between the two countries by train through Central Asia. In 2016, a first direct container train between  Yiwu (Zhejiang Province) and Teheran made its way across Asia in 14 days. This is supposed to be the beginning of regular container train service along this route.

Iranians and Chinese are currently renovating rails to connect each other through Central Asian nations. In another 2016 test run, it took 12 days to deliver freight from Shanghai to Tehran, whereas it would have taken 30 days by sea.

China is believed to have helped Iran militarily in the following areas: conducting training of high-level officials on advanced systems, providing technical support, supplying specialty steel for missile construction, providing control technology for missile development, and building a missile factory and test range. It is rumored that China is responsible for aiding in the development of advanced conventional weapons including surface-to-air missiles, combat aircraft, radar systems, and fast-attack missile vessels.

It was not until the 1990s that the relationship between China and Iran came under close scrutiny by the United States. From this scrutiny, it became known that China was using North Korea to traffic arms during the Iran-Iraq war to avoid antagonizing the West but later cut out the middle man. In the years of 1984–1986, about $1–2 billion worth of arms sales occurred. And then in 1986, Iran obtained Chinese-made anti-ship surface-to-surface missiles that posed a threat to Persian Gulf shipping. In possessing these missiles, Iran is able to control the Strait of Hormuz and all of the naval trade to and from the Gulf countries.

In 2020, a leaked document showed that a 25-year strategic partnership would be implemented between the two countries, in which China would invest in Iranian infrastructure, transport and seaports, in exchange; Iran would provide a heavily discounted regular supply of its oil. Above all the reasons for the timing of this agreement is the rivalry between the US, the main opponent to Iran, and China, the main supporter to Iran, plays the major role in taking the step of signing the agreement.

Already, this process has begun, with last week seeing statements from Iran’s new Oil Minister, that plans are underway to attract US$145 billion from Iranian and foreign investors in the petroleum industry within the next four to eight years. This figure was always part of the broader investment package of the 25-year China-Iran deal that comprised the first US$280 billion of funds flowing into developing Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemicals sectors over 25 years. The amount was to be largely front-loaded into the first five-year period of the new deal, with the understanding being that further amounts would be available in each subsequent five-year period, subsequent to both parties’ agreement. There would also be another US$120 billion of investment, which again can be front-loaded into the first five-year period, for upgrading Iran’s transport and manufacturing infrastructure, and again subject to increase in each subsequent five-year period should both parties agree. 

BRICS+ will cement the dollar’s descent

Apart from Russia and Iran, Russia and China have also been trying to interface their banking messaging systems for years now. The Chinese CBIBPS (Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System) is considered top class. The problem is that Washington has directly threatened to expel Chinese banks from SWIFT if they interconnect with Russian banks. The success of SEPAM-SPFS may allow Beijing to go for broke – especially now, after the extremely harsh semiconductor war and the appalling balloon farce. In terms of sovereignty, it is clear that China will not accept US restrictions on how to move its own funds.

In parallel, the BRICS in 2023 will delve deeper into developing their mutual financial payments system and their own reserve currency. There are no less than 13 confirmed candidates eager to join BRICS+ – including Asian middle powers like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. All eyes will be on whether – and how – the $30 trillion-plus indebted US will threaten to expel BRICS+ from SWIFT.

It’s enlightening to remember that Russia’s debt to GDP ratio stands at only 17 percent. China’s is 77 percent. The current BRICS without Russia are at 78 percent. BRICS+ including Russia may average only 55 percent. Strong productivity ahead will come from a BRICS+ supported by a gold and/or commodities-backed currency and a different payment system that bypasses the US dollar. Strong productivity definitely will not come from the collective west whose economies are entering recessionary times.

Amid so many intertwined developments, and so many challenges, one thing is certain. The SEPAM-SPFS deal between Russia and Iran may be just the first sign of the tectonic plates movement in global banking and payment systems. Russia’s SPFS interbank messaging system is expanding at an unprecedented pace and now includes 469 participants, according to Alla Bakina, head of the Central Bank’s national payment system department. 

“Over the past year, we have connected as many [members] as for the entire period of the system’s operation – – –  (since 2015) around 115 of the participants are foreign entities from 14 countries- – –  the Russian Central Bank is working to connect even more countries to its SPFS system – – we work with friendly countries; they connect in different formats – both individually and through a service bureau. The list is expanding,” said the official.

Welcome to the new   payment messaging systems. And welcome to their unification in a global network. Of course that will take time. But this high-speed financial train has already left the station.

The Geopolitical Equation

China is increasing its energy purchases from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain are rich independent monarchies and petro-states. They are not in need of external help. Iraq and Iran are very rich in oil and gas. This is where China’s focus is, especially Iran. Over the last 2 decades, Iran has increased its energy supplies to China.

Now, China knows that the US is in over-drive to regime-change Teheran, and replace it with a pro-US vassal. Were that to happen, it would be a disaster for both Russia and China.

With this in mind, Russia and China have taken it upon themselves to “protect” Iran by helping it militarily, technologically and with trade and energy deals. In short, Iran is the weak link. Break Iran, and the US has won.

The Rockefeller geopolitical “advisor” Zbigniew Brzezinski nailed it on the head with his statement- which is at the beginning of this article.

“[…] a coalition allying Russia with both China and Iran can develop only if the United States is shortsighted enough to antagonize China and Iran simultaneously.”

In this, the US was extremely short-sighted!  

Conclusion: The Russia- Iran-China strategic partnership: The big picture

To compound the Rockefeller nightmare, China came out in firm support of Russia just days ago- at the infamous Munich Security Conference. Before, it was implied. Now, it became direct. This gave the 2 families and their networks a triple cardiac event. One can see the statements by various members of the Western political class. The western political class became hysterical- warning that China is going to supply arms and military equipment to Russia. Russia has been a major arms supplier to the Chinese and many other nations. Russian military technology is the best and most advanced. Russia DOES NOT need arms from anyone.

The real fear of China openly backing Russia- as stated a few days ago- is that Chinese manufacturing capacity is greater than the combined US and EU economies. It’s not a stretch to see how China would be in a position to “sanction” western economies with goods and “supply-chain” issues. Russia will now replace Germany with China-in terms of purchasing consumer goods, and light industrial goods. This has left the 2 families and vassals in a state of panic.

Russia is also one of the largest foreign investors in Iran. Like China, Russia’s engagement with Iran stems from an understanding that Iran has a vital role to play in consolidating a non-western bloc in the world. Not only that will completely nullify the US sanction obsession; it will direct Iran’s next stages of much needed economic development to the East, and it will boost the whole geoeconomic space from China to Iran and everyone in between.

So 44 years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran enjoys strategic partnerships with the three top BRICS: China, Russia and India. The three leaders of Eurasia integration – China, Russia and Iran – are fast on their way to consolidate the core of multipolarity.

In one way, the fact that Iran has been resisting the US for decades makes a lot of sense for both Moscow and Beijing. With Russia confronting the US and NATO forces in Ukraine and China facing the US in the Indo-Pacific, Iran’s active resistance to the US completes the triangle. It would not be wrong to say that both Russia and China today find themselves on the same ground Iran has been standing in for several years now. It is, therefore, logical for both Russia and China to shape their ties with Iran in a way that has the potential to change the rules of the game to their advantage.

 China sees itself facing the threat – and the same sorts of challenges – that Iran is facing. Both understand that their alliance, tied to Russia both separately and collectively, is vital for their survival in a world under Washington’s moves undergoing division and restructuring.

As evidenced by the events of recent months, the existence of the unipolar world is coming to an end. It is being replaced by a multipolar world, where cooperation between Iran, Russia and China is steadily growing and getting stronger. A vivid confirmation of this is the official state visit to China of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and a large representative Iranian delegation at the invitation of Chinese Leader Xi Jinping. With Raisi in Beijing, the Iran-China strategic plans go full throttle.

The visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Beijing and his face-to- face meeting with counterpart Xi Jinping is a groundbreaking affair in more ways than one. Raisi, the first Iranian president to officially visit China in 20 years, led an ultra-high-level political and economic delegation, which included the new Central Bank governor and the Ministers of Economy, Oil, Foreign Affairs, and Trade. Beijing and Tehran first established their comprehensive strategic partnership when Xi visited Iran in 2016 – only one year after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iranian nuclear deal. Iran, since the revolution, was forced to make a large investment in defense, and made good use of the sanctions by developing their own MIC, now capable of exporting drones by the thousands, and producing more advanced ballistic missiles. Defense took a large chunk of their national treasure, which compounded with the sanctions, forced Iran to live on a survival economy. That might be coming to an end with the fresh investments from China and Russia, developing all sectors of the Iranian economy. The amount of commercial trucks (on the Tehran – Isfahan) road continues for miles on end, and the INSTC had not been opened yet. The geopolitical and economic Quad, Russia, China, Iran, and India, will give Iran’s economy a powerful oxygenation, which may catapult Iran out of the survival economy. This whole process – already happening – is in many aspects a direct consequence of the Empire’s “until the last Ukrainian” proxy war against Russia. Ukraine as cannon fodder is rooted in Mackinder’s heartland theory:  world control belongs to the nation that controls the Eurasian land mass.

This was the reason  behind World War I, where Germany knocking out Russia created fear among the Anglo-Saxons that should Germany knock out France it would control the Eurasian land mass.

WWII was conceived against Germany and Japan forming an axis to control Europe, Russia and China.

The present, potential WWIII was conceived by the Hegemon to break a friendly alliance between Germany, Russia and China – with Iran as a privileged West Asia partner.

Everything we are witnessing at this stage spells out the US trying to break up Eurasia integration.

So it’s no wonder that the three top existential “threats” to the American oligarchy which dictates the “rules-based international order” are The Three Sovereigns: China, Russia and Iran.

Does that matter? Not really. We have just seen that while the dogs of war bark the Russia-Iran-China strategic caravan rolls on. Our next article is called: A Global Pivot & Armageddon. This will detail the reaction and responses from the Western powers-especially the 2 families.   

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