Gianluca Pastori told Trend News Agency, "Beijing can replace Western partners by providing Tehran with goods and technologies it badly needs, and is more than ready to do that. In the long term, this could lead to frictions with the United States. However, I don't think this would really affect the Chinese attitude. Iran is strategically located on the East-West axis and plays a pivotal role in the OBOR (One Belt-One Road) project."
He added that Iran can play an important role in fostering trade relations between China and Central Asian countries. "In its turn, Tehran needs to strengthen its regional ties, and Central Asian republics are 'natural' partners from many points of view," said the expert.
"Greater cooperation can positively affect all the countries involved and since the US influence remains quite low, its political costs are limited," noted Pastori.
The main effect of the sanctions will probably be on the willingness of Western companies to use Iran as a gateway to Central Asian markets, Pastori said.
"However, as far as regional trade is concerned, I do not think they will have any relevant impact."