Anger over foreign interference was a key driver of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo
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Iran's supreme leader has signaled a decisive shift in favor of ties with China and Russia, indicating that patience is running out with efforts to improve ties with the West. One of the most popular slogans during the 1979 Islamic Revolution was "Neither East nor West," a defiant vow that Iran would no longer favor either of the world's major forces at the time – American-style capitalism or Soviet Communism.Even before Trump, Iran felt Washington was violating its side of the bargain as it became clear that remaining U.S. sanctions would still hamper banking ties and foreign investments, even blocking Iranian tech startups from sharing their products on app stores."From day one, the U.S., the Obama administration, started violating both the letter and the spirit of the agreement," said Mohammad Marandi, a political analyst at the University of Tehran.He said Khamenei's latest statement recognized the simple fact that relations with eastern countries were much stronger, particularly since Iran and Russia allied over the Syrian war.The threat of U.S. penalties has helped deter many foreign investors and major banks from re-engaging with Iran.
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