Chanakya IAS Academy Blog

Introduction:The article talks about the growing strategic ties of India and Iran and its importance in the region.

Topics:General Studies, Paper-II

  • Signing of the Chabahar port deal is strategic move which will lead to building up of strategic close relationship with Iran and Central Asia.
  • India’s investment of $500m for the trade transport corridor which would entirely bypass Pakistan, would also help it to directly compete with China’s growing influence in the region.
  • Taken as a whole, the Chabahar agreement represents an open door towards more future cooperation on issues such as terrorism, security, energy, trade, culture etc.
  • In future, Iran will emerge as not only an important supplier of energy, but also as a key regional player in Central Asia and the Near East.
  • That is why Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rightly proclaimed that “the agreement is not only an economic document but political and regional too.”
The Historical Ties:
  • India and Iran have had long and close cultural links, and their ancient and modern histories have been intertwined.
  • Since Indian independence, the relations have been essentially peaceful, friendly and empathic. They have turned more fruitful and productive after the Iranian revolution of 1979, the war in Afghanistan and the tense Iranian-Pakistani ties.
  • Furthermore, Iran’s non-ideological approach toward India, after the election of the reformist president Mohammad Khatami, has contributed to the political and economic rapprochement between the two countries.
  • Interestingly, expanding strategic relations with India have had the support of all political factions in the Iranian nomenclature
  • The Islamic Republic has also kept its distance from Muslim-related issues in India, while promising proactive help to India in fighting al Qaeda and other forms of Islamist jihadism.
  • The first step in Indian-Iranian regional cooperation was taken during PM AB Vajpayee’s time with signing of the New Delhi Declaration which laid out the principles of cooperation in defence, including the training of Iranian military personnel by India.
  • The current bilateral trade between the two countries is about $14bn, while Indian exports to Iran were around $4.2bn in 2014.
  • India’s economic progress and its global ambitions as a full-time player in international affairs have contributed to Iran’s interest in the country as a way to challenge US global hegemony.
  • Iran, however, felt betrayed by India’s decision to vote in favour of sending its nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council in September 2006.
  • It is important to note that Iran, known for its anti-Israeli and anti-American point of view, has been extremely accommodative and understanding of India’s friendship and economic cooperation with both these countries.
  • Therefore, despite their disappointments, Iranian authorities have continued to stress their interest in expanding their political and economic ties with India. This is why Iran suggested building a pipeline to bring its LNG to India.
  • But Iran’s vital desire on all India-Iran projects, the Modi government’s new Middle East policy and its decision to capitalise on business opportunities provided by the Islamic republic, have turned the Chabahar port as the point of origin for the proposed Iran-India pipeline.
  • As such, there are valid reasons to agree with the fact that the Chabahar deal is also a response to China’s pursuit of a port in Pakistan’s Gwadar region.
  • With the lifting of western sanctions, Iran is once again considered as a very resourceful country with greater political stability than many of its neighbours. It is also now recognised to have the largest combined oil and gas reserves in the world.
  • What India has achieved in regard to Iran through diplomacy and complexity management, rather than threats, sanctions and demonisation, is to understand the Islamic republic as a vital bridge between East and East, and as the most stable, safe and inviting stop along the Silk Road.
  • Unlike what many might think, this would not have been possible without the commitment of both parties to constructive engagement and their mutual initiative for a regional dialogue.

Question: Diplomacy can achieve what threats and sanctions cannot. The relationship between Iran and world is a great example of that. Discuss. Also highlight the impact of growing ties between india and Iran in the region.

Suggested Approach:

  1. Strained relationship between Iran and US mainly and the sanctions imposed.
  2. The deal signed by P5+1 and Iran through diplomacy.
  3. Impact of growing India-Iran ties on the region.


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Read 159 times Last modified on Monday, 20 June 2016 17:58
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