Caught in the middle In the Iran US rift, India needs to pick a side

By: Global ConflictPublished: 8 months ago


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This video shows you that Caught in the middle In the Iran US rift, India needs to pick a side.

When the United States pulled out of the Iran deal, economies across the world braced themselves for the consequences. India, too, is stuck in the crossfire — its dependence on Iranian oil on one hand and its growing American interests on the other.

What the Trump administration expects ::

In a two-day visit to India, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley categorically stated that India should look for alternate sources of oil and cut its dependence on Iran for the same. Since the US is no longer a part of the Iran oil deal, it was going to reinstate economic sanctions on Iran, which would affect all countries in business with the oil-rich state.

“I also think for the future of India, and the future of being able to get resources and who they’re dependent on, I would encourage them to rethink their relationship with Iran. India should decide if Iran is a country they want to continue doing business with,” Haley told a news channel.

The cut-off from Iran had to be gradual since it is the third-largest supplier to the country. The government had, in May, asked oil refiners to prepare for drastic reductions in Iranian imports. Fearing sanctions from the US, Indian imports from Iran were found to be 16 percent less in June.

India, Iran’s second-largest client after China, is not the only country the US is looking to distance from the oil exporting nation.

Iran’s w@rning ::

Earlier today, Iran criticised India for not fulfilling its promised investment in expansion of its strategically located Chabahar port. It also went on to say that New Delhi stands to lose ‘special privileges’ if it cuts import from Iran.

Iran also w@rned against offsetting cuts from Iran by importing from other countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq.

Chabahar port is strategically very important for India and New Delhi has already invested almost half a billion dollars in creating its infrastructure. Defence expert Uday Shankar told ANI, “Chabahar is supposed to enable India access to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. When the American sanctions are in place, however, importing equipment to Iran for a joint project will be a problem.”

How will India prioritise between the two?

India’s ties with Iran have been friendly for a long time. At the same time, it has also sided with the US in raising concerns about Tehran’s nuke programme. US now considers India a key ally in the “Indo-Pacific” region. It is, therefore, of utmost importance for India to prioritise its bilateral ties.

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