Russia and China’s deepening military ties have had US officials in panic mode over a potential powerful anti-Western alliance forming. In the short-term, the pairs’ support for Iran – whether it be economic or political – has alleviated some pressure from the Trump administration on Tehran. However, should the conflict escalate to a full-on hot war, the two nations are unlikely to stick by Iran’s side, according to an expert.
China, while not as close to Iran as Russia, has shown support economically and on the UN security council.
However, the support will stop at military conflict, according to Dr Paul Stott of the Henry Jackson Society.
He told Express.co.uk: “Were Iran to be drawn into a hot war and the US were to invade, I think it would be very unlikely that you would see Chinese military support for Iran.
“You wouldn’t see much other than diplomatic pressure.
“China wants to maintain the status quo internationally as much as possible.
China and Russia may not help Iran in a war (Image: GETTY)
Putin, Xi and Rouhani (Image: GETTY)
“At the same time, the Chinese would be unhappy at any suggestion that the Iranians are interfering with oil flows through the Persian Gulf.
“We’ve had various tanker incidents over the last six weeks or so.
“Three-quarters of the world’s oil supply goes to that part of the world – and the majority then goes to China and the far east.”
He added that it could be Beijing’s belief that Iran is responsible for this – and as such, they’ll be unhappy and won’t even consider military support if the situation escalates.
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Russia and China have been growing closer themselves (Image: GETTY)
Even Putin, who has lent so much support to