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India-Iran will survive hostile pressures

New Delhi, A seasoned analyst of Indian foreign affairs believes the strategic ties between the two countries will easily survive the hostilities and pressures by certain countries.

In an exclusive article penned for IRNA, Seema Guha , who is a veteran journalist and commentator on international affairs writing for leading Indian print media, observed that 'India's ties with Iran have the stamp of history. Leaders of both countries have always emphasized their civilisational links.'

'Yet the relationship has been unable to achieve its true potential, despite the excellent political relations. Economic ties have suffered, mainly because of crippling sanctions the US had slapped on Iran for its nuclear program.'

She said, 'Again when things were looking up and economic cooperation gathering momentum since the 2015 nuclear agreement, the US President Donald Trump, has not only walked out of the nuclear agreement, but has announced its first round of sanctions.'

Guha went on to note in her article, 'This has put India in a fix. Will it defy the US or give in to Washington's pressure. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had said at her annual news conference that Delhi respects sanctions placed by the UNSC and not bilateral sanctions imposed by individual governments. But will Delhi walk the talk? There are no clear indications yet. Countries do what is best for their self interest and India is no exception.'

Elsewhere in her article the analyst wrote, 'India's energy security is closely linked to Iran. India imported 4.3 million barrels of crude oil per day in June, of which 680,000 barrels per day came from Iran. But there are already indications that the government is planning to reduce imports of Iranian oil when the oil sanctions kick in this November. Washington's decision to block international companies business with Iran, from US financial markets is a major obstacle. Unlike European countries like France, Germany, Delhi has not publicly spoken about defying the US ban on doing business with Iran.'

Pointing to the deep roots of cooperation between the two countries, she stressed, 'Yet India has strategic interests in Iran. The Chabahar port project, which by passes Pakistan and opens India's trade links to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics is of great significance to Delhi. The Modi government is hoping that the US will not target India for Chabahar, as one of the aims of the project is to promote economic activity in Afghanistan. India is likely to raise this point with the US.'

Guha qhoted spokesman of the Ministry of External Affars ( India's foreign ministry) Raveesh Kumar, as saying when asked about the effect of the US sanctions on Iran and the Chabahar project, 'We have conveyed our position and expectation to the US side and we do reiterate and I would like to reiterate once again that we will take all necessary steps as mandated by our national interest in this regard.'

'That is neither here or there. But India is hoping that the US for its own interests in stabilizing Afghanistan may not target Chabahar. After all despite US protests, the Modi government has gone ahead with the negotiations on Russia's S-400 missile Triumf air defence missile system. When national interest is involved Delhi will do what is best for India. Perhaps India will reduce oil purchase with Iran and go ahead with the Chabahar project, even if Washington objects. But the government is so far keeping its cards close to its chest,' Guha concluded.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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