Iran and US might have deal but will that jeopardise India’s relations with the two?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with PM Narendra Modi/Image: HT

The war of words between the United States and Iran might come to a ‘real deal’ as mentioned by President Donald Trump. The President talked of a possibility which might strike between the two countries, in order to denuclearize Iran. The deal won’t be like the previous agreement, but Trump assured of something which might help the countries be at peace over the issue. Iran had caught up the US attention ever since it had expressed its support of President Bashar Al- Assad’s regime in the Syrian Civil War and the Defence Secretary of Trump’s administration Jim Mattis has asked Iran to shape itself as a responsible nation rather than a revolutionary in the Middle East in a news conference in California. But the whole situation isn’t that simple and easy to understand as other countries position are at stake in choosing their allies between Iran and the US, one good example being India.

The recent sanctions made by the US government on India in terms of its oil imports from Iran. India seems to be caught up in the whole dilemma as US’s threat jeopardises India’s bilateral relations with Tehran. After Saudi Arabia, Iran is the second largest country exporting crude oil to the refineries in India as the total export amounts to 15.6%, and therefore the country plans to maintain good relations with it. However, at the same time, India cannot risk its relationship with the United States because a superpower as such would be required to combat China’s growing military influence in Asia.

India’s security dependence on the States is bringing the country to a juncture where both sides are important from India’s perspective. Although last week India’s Oil Ministry had asked the refineries to be prepared for any ‘eventuality’ which could either be a ‘drastic reduction or zero’ imports and a clear picture on this whole situation can be gained once an agreement between Iran and US is sealed.

Germany’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Niels Annen has advised India to maintain its trade import with Iran and rather ignore US’s irritating pressures, on his recent visit to New Delhi.

 

*Arijita Sinha Roy is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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