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China Reportedly Asked Iran To Control Houthi Attacks In Red Sea: ‘It Will Impact Our Business With Tehran’


In a recent development, Chinese officials have reportedly issued a warning to Iran, urging them to control the Iran-backed Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea. This warning is said to have been delivered during several high-level meetings in Beijing and Tehran.

What Happened: The Chinese officials have allegedly cautioned their Iranian counterparts about the potential consequences of the Houthi attacks on the Red Sea, Reuters reported on Friday.

“Basically, China says: ‘If our interests are harmed in any way, it will impact our business with Tehran. So tell the Houthis to show restraint’,” said one Iranian official under anonymity.

The discussions, which also involved trade relations between the two countries, were held in both Beijing and Tehran.

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Despite being Iran’s primary trading partner for the past decade, China’s trade relationship with Iran is imbalanced. Chinese oil refiners purchased over 90% of Iran’s crude exports last year. However, Iranian oil only accounted for 10% of China’s crude imports, with Beijing having multiple suppliers to compensate for any shortfalls.

China has made it clear that it would be disappointed if any vessels linked to China were targeted or if its interests were affected in any way. However, Iran’s regional alliances and priorities, including the Houthis in Yemen, play a significant role in its decision-making.

Why It Matters: The U.S. has been pressuring China to use its influence to stop the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Despite diplomatic efforts, there has been little indication of assistance from Beijing.

Following the recent military strikes by the U.S. and the U.K. against the Iran-aligned Houthi group, the Houthis have ordered U.S. and British nationals in Yemen to leave the country within a month. This decision was made in response to the strikes, which were carried out in retaliation for the Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

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Image by Andy.LIU via Shutterstock

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