Iran is obsessed with getting a deal with China at any cost. It is so obsessed, it has directed its media to begin to blame Israel and “the Zionists” for any controversy at the heart of its discussions with China.The reality is that Iran’s own populists, led by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had raised alarms about the Iranian regime selling out to Beijing. Then Iran’s propaganda machine turned its ire on the “monarchists,” blaming dissidents abroad for the problem. Now it zooms in on its usual scapegoat: Israel. How do we know this? Iran’s media had several front-page stories on Sunday slamming Israel, including this newspaper, for making its China deal controversial. What is the controversy? Iran is trying to come to a multi-decade agreement with China.Critics allege Iran will give China major concessions and deals in an effort to get around US sanctions. Meanwhile, Iran’s allies, such as Hezbollah, are also focused on a deal with China for Lebanon.The first article at Tasnim News Agency over the weekend says Iran is shifting to a Beijing strategy because China also wants to pressure the US: “China’s growing cooperation with Iran in various fields is a symbol of change in Beijing’s strategy against Washington.” The world has completely changed, Iran says, and many countries no longer listen to US demands or unilateral policies, and “countries are willing to confront the US.Next, Tasnim quotes Majid Reza Harari, head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the agreement. The article is titled: “The role of the Zionist regime in the media controversy against the 25-year agreement [with China].” The article notes that Iran-China discussions about a longer agreement date back to 1997. In addition, the issue of a 25-year deal is merely symbolic. The countries may have other addenda to their deal, such as a free-trade zone or work at the Port of Jask, the report says.Iran accuses the US State Department, members of the former Pahlavi monarchy and Israel of being against the China deal. “My analysis is that the reasons for these rumors is that it relates to Israel’s long-term economic interest in the Middle East,” Harari says. Israel’s partnership with China has been jeopardized, he says, adding: “We certainly see such an alliance against this agreement in the world.”Iran’s road map in this respect looks back to history and argues China never attempted to colonize Iran, unlike the UK or other countries. Harari argues that China’s treatment of Iran is, therefore, a better track record than the US or UK. He also notes that the current government in Tehran is oriented toward the West and would prefer a deal with France if they could get it. He says it would be welcome if China would build thousands of kilometers of high-speed trains in Iran and if China and Iran could work on 5G and other technologies.It is clear from the report that Iran is moving cautiously and thinking about many angles of the potential Iran-China deal. However, the Iranian regime is seeking to pin some of the blame on Israel now, in addition to the US, Saudi Arabia, “monarchists” and also local populists.