Tehran, Oct 13, IRNA-An English-language daily in Tehran on Thursday focused on China-Iran relations and asked the sobering question of whether Tehran's longstanding "East-leaning" policy was holding out.
It also brought up the subject in light of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's current visit to the Chinese capital.
Undoubtedly, China is the fastest growing economy in the world.
Ever since former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger's historic visit in 1970, "China as a nation with a billion plus population is a reality that cannot be ignored," said `Iran News' in its editorial on Thursday quoting the noted political strategist.
"For Iran, China has been important ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Relations between the two states have been far more advanced than just trade and economics," the daily said.
Iran looks to China, a permanent member and with the power of veto in the UN Security Council, as a faithful ally in its nuclear problem.
"On Iran's nuclear dispute, Beijing has verbally lent its support to Tehran and opposed Security Council referral and economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic," reminded the editorial.
"But, in reality, in the latest resolution passed on Iran by the IAEA Board of Governors -- which according to observers was the harshest up to now -- China's vote was a disappointment for the Islamic Republic," it said.
Indeed it was, for "Tehran was hoping and half-counting on China and Russia to vote against the EU-proposed resolution" that declared Iran short of fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
China and Russia abstained in the IAEA voting on the Iran nuclear issue.
"Despite the disenchantment, the Islamic Republic is still hoping that if and when Tehran's nuclear dossier is reported to the UN, Beijing and/or China would come to Iran's rescue," continued the editorial.
Although a vote of abstention does not mean outward rejection, the time for soul-searching has come, it hinted.
"Has the Islamic Republic's `East-Leaning Strategy' taken into account that a number of states in the so-called East are longtime staunch U.S. allies such as Japan and South Korea? Has Tehran learned not to overplay its hand and not rely too much on other nations? Do the officials in charge realize there is no country they an unfailingly depend on?"
The obvious and resounding answer is NO!
Iran News suggests those who made the mistake not only take an effective pain reliever but also reassess their decisions.
"Iranian statesmen should relentlessly and untiringly pursue the nation's best interests wherever they may lie and not just based on geography," it advised.
And, "if seeking the country's strategic national interests takes us to the doorsteps of the United States, so be it," it concluded.
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