عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: This article seeks to compare the opportunities and challenges of economic projects of China and Russia in Central Asia for Iran. Considering the importance of the current research, it can be said that the analysis of the threats and opportunities of the presence of Russia and China in Central Asia is important for Iran from this point of view, which helps policy makers in the political and security fields to draw the appropriate security environment in the region based on current and future developments as well as the relationship between the presence of these two powers in the region with its regional threats and opportunities within the framework of the national interests of Iran and Central Asia. In line with the necessity of this research, it can be said that the increasing presence of China and Russia in the region while intensifying the competition, can become a serious competitor for Iran in the field of energy transit, transportation of goods and economic programs, etc. which itself can pose a big challenge for national interests of Iran.
Research Question: What are the threats and opportunities for Iran in implementing the China-Russian economic projects in Central Asia?
Research Hypothesis: Due to the qualitative, exploratory and constructive nature of the article, we refrain from presenting hypothesis.
Methodology (and Theoretical Framework if there are): Based the content analysis method and thematic matrix type with indirect observation (text analysis), the research data has been collected in the form of targeted sampling from existing documents (traditional and virtual, including books, websites, articles and research). Then, through thematic coding, the research data were coded and basic themes were organized and comprehensive opportunities and threats of Russian and Chinese economic projects in Central Asia were identified and finally, it was compared and analyzed in terms of opportunities and challenges as well as commonalities and differences. In the validation method, the qualitative findings of the research are evaluated and controlled by auditing relevant experts and specialists and applying their opinions regarding the qualitative findings of the research and forming a focused group consisting of 6 experts (in the fields of regional studies and international relations).
Results and Discussion: The common features of the economic programs of Russia and China in Central Asia for Iran in terms of opportunities are as follows: On the one hand, the geopolitical importance of Iran is discussed and on the other, the issue of expanding Iran's relations with the countries involved in these economic projects is considered. In addition, the difference between the economic plans of Russia and China in Central Asia for Iran can also be discussed from this point of view: in terms of challenge, negative political and economic consequences for Iran caused by the implementation of Russian economic plans on the one hand and the formation of tension and disruption of the balance of interests between the countries involved in China’s economic plan can also be raised from the other side.
Conclusion: The obtained results show that Iran's opportunities in Russia's energy transfer plans in Central Asia include the use of Russia's capacity by Iran to deal with regional and extra-regional threats in the field of energy because Iran can take advantage of Russia's opposition to Turkey’s presence in the region and transfer its energy resources and even sell its oil and gas through Russia. The threat of Russia's energy transit plans in Central Asia for Iran has led to tension between Iran and Russia over energy transfer in Central Asia because Russia and Iran have not reached an agreement on the issue of energy transfer in Central Asia and at the same time the Russian Federation intends to Iran remove Iran from the cycle of energy transmission in Central Asia.
In addition, increasing Iran’s relationship with the Eurasian region will make the sanctions ineffective. The threat of the economic plan of the Eurasian Union in Central Asia for Iran will be the possible negative political and economic consequences due to its membership; The threats of the economic plan of the Eurasian Union in Central Asia for Iran will equal to having negative political and economic consequences due to its membership because they will lead to various security and legal crises for Iran. At the same time, the Eurasian Union does not have the necessary competitive advantage over other countries, especially China and India.
Being overly optimistic about this plan due to China's geopolitical ambitions will not have pleasant consequences for Iran, Russia and the countries of the region. The similarities between the two economic plans of Russia in Central Asia for Iran include the expansion of Iran's relations with Russia and the countries involved in the economic plans. The difference between Russia's economic plans in Central Asia for Iran is the emergence of conflict and tension between Iran and Russia with the implementation of the energy transit routes and also having negative trans-regional political and economic consequences for Iran with the implementation of the Eurasia plan.