5. What should be India’s approach to Iran keeping in mind the recalibrated stance of the US in the region? Discuss.


  • Rex

    1. The new Trump administration in the US has changed their country’s stance towards Iran. While the earlier administration displayed an approach of reconciliation and amicable relations (the P5+1 deal, lifting of sanctions), the current administration seems to be reversing that stand (with its comments on reviewing of the Iran deal and allegations of terrorism)

    2. Iran is strategically very important for India but the US has also emerged as one of our biggest allies, therefore we will need to adopt a very careful, balanced approach:
    i. We must ensure the continued development of our Chabahar port project. Not only is that an alternative to the Gwadar port in Pak but it’s also an important part of our INSTC project.
    ii. Iran is one of the nations supplying us with crude oil for our strategic oil reserve. Apart from this, we have also started importing a lot of oil for our regular use after the lifting of sanctions — reducing our dependence on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
    iii. Iran is predominantly Shia and as such, is an important player against a Sunni dominated Arab world in international fora and is also capable of delivering a strong response to the Shia ISIS. Our views on terrorism in Af-Pak are more or less mirrored by Iran (barring our support to the US led forces).
    iv. Pre-Islamic Iran is believed to be the homeland of not just the Zoroastrians but also the Vedic Aryan tribes. Therefore we share an ancient bond with the country.

    3. As long as the US doesn’t reimpose sanctions or take a more aggressive stance, we can maintain normal relations with Iran and the US just like we have been able to maintain relations with Israel in spite of our contacts with Iran and Saudi Arabia. BUT if the US steps up its campaign against Iran, we will be forced to vote against Iran in international fora and cut our oil imports due to the influence of the US financial system in enforcing blockades. We also need the US for its weapons, tech, support for our NSG, UNSC bid etc.

    4. However, in the long term, with the US becoming increasingly closed and intolerant (H1-B, immigrants’ issue), India should step up its efforts to maintain non-alignment (or atleast equal alignment to both pro and anti-US forces) and we must seek to influence upon the US our need to keep our interests on top.

    • Anand

      hey rex nice answer few changes like india will be forced to to vote against iran i guess its not compulsory to vote against them like india abstains from voting against israel even when arab states tells us to.
      the word intolrent is not required according to me
      plz review my answer

      • Rex

        You’re right. Thank you.

    • Arjun

      hi rex
      Despite regular meetings and joint military training, the United States and India are not allies in any formal sense but partners.
      rest all r good .very good presentation style .
      ATB rex

      • Rex

        Yes.. corrected. Thank you.

  • Anand

    INDIA AND IRAN have historical civilisational ties which has continued through centuries.
    recently ties between india and iran had reduced considerably due to USA sanctions due to IRAN NUCLEAR TESTINGS due to which india was forced to reduce bilateral ties with iran.
    last year the sanctions were lifted and india saw this as opportunity to extend its arm in middle east.
    india recommited itself to build CHABAHAR PORT in gulf of ADEN and to construct highway to connect ZARANJ-DELARAM HIGHWAY IN AFGHANISTAN.INDIA ALSO acceeded to ASHGABAT AGREEENT which would help link INDIA WITH CENTRAL ASIAN AND EASTERN EU.
    but recent stance of USA of repudiating iran missile testing and new sanctions on iran puts india in dilema.iran is important from strategic point of view as it has border with afghanistan where india is slowely increasing its presence.also economically iran is important as india has diversified its crude oil imports and iran has considerable share in it,indian fertilizer companies are going to set up plants in iran to export to india.
    new sanctions would result in slowdown of these project also price of crude would increase.
    one positive is india would be able to revive crude oil trade in RS DENOMINATION WITH IRAN WHICH IT DID BEFORE THUS IT WOULD SAVE INDIA ITS FOREIGN EXCHANGE.
    but at the same time usa is most important ally of india which INDIA cannot afford to ignore it is time that india balances both iran and usa and solve their apprehnsions through comprehensive bilateral talks keeping in mind interest of both the nations.
    PLZ REVIEW BABAJI AND FRIENDS

  • Valar dohaeris

    West Asia is probably the most complicated ground for international diplomacy and relations and more so for India as it has its- energy, strategic, security and diaspora’s interests in the region. Iran being one such challenge for the same reasons.
    Complexities come on the surface after renewed sanctions from USA on Iran widely supported by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the middle east. India being a country engaged with all the nations involved needs to calibrate its approach given fast changing circumstances-
    • Keep economic and diplomatic arrangements alive- USA under new govt is highly unpredictable in its foreign policy- India can’t suffer on that account
    • Can always use its goodwill to act as mediator in the talks.
    • Peaceful use of nuclear is every nation’s right and India must acknowledge that- however it is always open to tough stance when brought concrete evidence of nuclear proliferation- given rampant terrorist activities that can easily spill-over to India in that region
    India needs though out plan and must avoid any immediate reaction to issues related to Iran as every nation involved has vested interests in the region. With China making inroads in West-Asia, last thing India needs is isolation from collaborative opportunities for pleasing other nations.

    207 words

  • Ghalib

    India has been a traditional friend of Iran. We have balanced approach in our relations with Iran, UAE and Israel to maintain good relations with all the nations. US has strong reservations regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Earlier President Obama could reach to an agreement with Iran and even lifted the bans on Iran. US under its new leadership has chosen to have an aggressive approach towards Iran. First US passed an order to ban entry of Iranians into the US. Iran tested a ballistic missile in response and finally President Trump announced sanctions on Iran again.

    It is expected that the United States will try to isolate Iran in global platforms and also to pass resolutions in UN against Iran in future. India will need to abstain from any such voting to keep it balanced.

    US is turning towards inward looking policies in future hence there are good chances that US will not push its resources to maintain the balance in various regions. This is particularly dangerous and might result into growing Chinese influence. Fortunately US will keep a balance in this region by supporting Israel and UAE.

    India’s major oil demands are fulfilled by Iran and we are in discussion with Iran for Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. It is important for India to have good relations with Iran.

    • Axi Tak

      very precise and to the point answer maybe you can mention the importance of Chabahar port for India it will only enhance your answer.

      • Ghalib

        Thanks @axi_tak:disqus for the review. Yeah, I forgot “chabahar” port !

    • AJAY SINGH

      good try Janaab but the whole answer revolves around what america had done adn what it would do. except India to abstain from any vote u didn’t provide any other strategical step needed on India’s behalf.
      this time it seems u missed the mark.
      Good luck

      • Ghalib

        Yeah, you caught it right !! Wrote everything and then felt like to delete it all .. but kept it in the same way as I would not be getting second chance in exam too 🙂

        Thanks for the review @disqus_faaWNGffgM:disqus

        • AJAY SINGH

          u did the right thing. actually I too could not think much about this topic and therefore could not write a presentable answer. so went for other answers but didn’t found something substantial. it will take time to form views about these type of situations.
          This is the beauty of answer writing. we know each and everything but when asked to write, shit happens.
          good luck to u brother
          KWAR

          • Ghalib

            Yeah..sometimes we don’t understand what to write.. but it is better to write… as definitely there would be few questions like that in actual exam too 🙂

  • Arjun
    • bhawana

      You have written only three points regarding Indian stand..some more can be..
      Invest in renewable energy resources.
      Find alternative countries like US shell gas.
      Develop own resources..consolidation of oil fields.

      Put a clear view of its own without taking traditional approach of escaping situations demanding big decisions.

      Demand for a UN monitored probe.
      Engage strategically with Iran to keep to channels of negotiations open.

      • Arjun

        thanks 4 he additional points bhawana

  • Kartik
    • Axi Tak

      amazing answer, now i know what points I missed and so apt conclusion.

      • Kartik

        Thanks axi tak 🙂

  • Axi Tak

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