Tuesday, 28 February 2012

'Why is India refusing to augment American pressure on Iran? Oil & Afghanistan!'


"... So why is India now refusing to augment American pressure tactics on Iran? One clear answer is that Iran is India’s second-biggest oil supplier. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. asserts that a $10 increase in India’s oil price would probably shave 0.2 percentage point from India’s gross-domestic-product growth -- a setback India can ill afford as it looks at already reduced targets for this year. Given the blow it may inflict on the economy, war in the Middle East looms over Indian horizons as a terrible prospect.

There are also less tangible reasons for India’s reluctance to join another “coalition of the willing” against a Muslim country. Relations between India and Israel have developed fast since the countries established full diplomatic relations in 1992; Israel is India’s second-biggest arms supplier and a close adviser on security issues. But India’s links with Iran are much older, grounded in a shared religion and history.
Shiites from Persia once ruled large parts of India. The Safavid Empire represented the apex of cultural sophistication for the Mughal dynasty that held sway for centuries. Persian was the language of administration in large parts of India and remained so late into the British colonial era. (My own grandfather read Persian more easily than Hindi.) India’s anti- colonial leaders, “Mahatma” Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, in turn, were heroes for a whole generation of Iranian intellectuals and activists fighting against foreign domination of their country.
That history of political and cultural partnership might seem very remote today. But it doesn’t lack for recent examples. India and Iran worked together to back the Northern Alliance, specifically Ahmed Shah Massoud, against the Taliban in the 1990s.
India switched to supporting the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks, hoping to extend its influence within Afghanistan under a U.S. security umbrella. But that policy, predicated on a long U.S. commitment to Afghanistan and opposition to the Taliban, now lies in tatters as the U.S. prepares to withdraw its troops from the country.
Afghanistan, for better or worse, will again have regional arbiters. Trying to regain its influence there, India would, of course, find Iran a safer interlocutor and partner than Pakistan. Could India turn its unavoidable proximity to Iran into a diplomatic advantage? A recent contributor to a hawkish Indian website proposed that India bring about a “grand rapprochement” between the U.S. and Iran since the latter’s nuclearization is now inevitable..... ....
There is no doubt that, short of a catastrophic war that turns much of the Middle East into a wasteland, Iran’s nuclear program, which was started by the Shah, will be completed -- either by the present regime in Tehran, or the one that replaces it.
If many Indians feel this to be inevitable, it is because India itself defied intense international pressure to build its nuclear capacity.............
In at least one evolutionary narrative of international relations developed during the Cold War, countries attain adulthood when, after outgrowing adolescent neuroses, they align their interests with U.S. objectives. The example of India (and its attitude toward Iran) points at a newer and more widespread model of individuation: one in which nation states reach maturity when they grow aware of their own needs and interests, and define their foreign policies through the interplay of geopolitical imperatives, domestic politics, regional histories, and national pride.
To ignore this dawning reality of the multipolar world is to risk regressing beyond adolescent neuroses; it is to lapse into child-like narcissism."

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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