Four Iranian and diplomatic sources told Reuters news agency that Chinese officials asked their Iranian counterparts to help “curb attacks launched by the Ansar Allah group”The Houthis) on ships in The Red SeaOtherwise, damage may be caused to trade relations with Beijing.
The agency quoted these Iranian sources as saying that discussions regarding the attacks and trade between China and Iran took place during several meetings held recently in Beijing and Tehran. The sources declined to give any other details about when the meetings were held, or who participated in them.
Essentially, China is saying, “If our interests are harmed in any way, it will affect our business with Tehran. So ask the Houthis to exercise restraint,” said an Iranian official familiar with the deliberations, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
According to Reuters, the four sources indicated that Chinese officials did not make any specific comments or threats regarding how trade relations between Beijing and Tehran could be affected if their interests were harmed as a result of the Houthi attacks.
The Iranian sources said that Beijing made clear that it would feel very disappointed towards Tehran if any ships linked to China were attacked, or the country's interests were affected in any way.
An informed Iranian source pointed out that although China is important to Iran, Tehran has “agents” in… Gaza Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, along with the Houthis in Yemen, and that their regional alliances and priorities play a major role in their decision-making.
The attacks – which the Houthis say are aimed at supporting the Palestinians in Gaza in the face of the raging Israeli war on the Strip – have led to an increase in the cost of shipping and insurance as a result of the disruption they caused to a major trade route between Asia and Europe that is widely used by ships sailing from China.
Yesterday, Thursday, the leader of the Ansar Allah group said Abdul Malik Al Houthi Operations in the Red Sea will continue until food and medicine reach the entire Gaza Strip. Al-Houthi added – in a televised speech – that the Red Sea battle “is linked to what is happening in Gaza, and is not separate as the Americans portray it, and it will stop with the cessation of Zionist crime.”
Al-Houthi confirmed that his forces “have so far used more than 200 drones and more than 50 ballistic and winged missiles in this battle, which aims to support the Palestinian people, and has no other goals,” he said.