India, USA, Israel and Iran: It takes four to tango!

Editor’s note: I have just changed the title.

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

India is America’s friend, Israel’s friend and Iran’s friend. Amid all the talk of an Israeli strike on Iran, how is India managing to stay friends with everyone? What in the world is going on?

India is being criticized here in America for continuing to trade with Iran despite coordinated sanctions on Tehran. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a staff editorial calling New Delhi “the mullahs’ last best friend.” It also criticized India for casting its lot with Moscow and Beijing “for a handful of rupees.”

Let’s get some perspective.

New Delhi’s defense is this: Iran is the world’s 4th largest oil producer. It’s biggest customer is India, which happens to be among the world’s largest oil consumers and importers. The type of crude best suited to India’s needs happens to be Iranian oil.

So there’s an economic argument here – India needs Iran’s oil as much as Iran needs to sell it. There have been reports the two countries reached a trade agreement to circumvent sanctions. Iran can’t trade in dollars, so it is selling oil to India for rupees and bartered goods instead.

But there are also geopolitical concerns. India lives in a rough neighborhood, with an intense rivalry with Pakistan. Pakistan has for decades believed that it needed to limit India’s influence in the region, particularly in Afghanistan. Islamabad has supported the Taliban against the Indian-backed Northern Alliance. And who helped India by siding with the Northern Alliance as well?  Iran. The Iranians have always been hostile to the Pakistan-Taliban axis.

Read more.

4 replies

  1. Not to forget that Iran and Indians have the same ancestry. Even before Islam came, India and Iran had good relations. And after arrival of Mughals, it further strengthened. And obviously India will like to have oil/gas from such a trusted friend and high-tech solutions from Israel, jobs from USA. In the arena of international politics, no one is your friend. So India will not fight war of others, except in providing intelligence support to the extent of countering islamo-fascists. And Iran has never harmed any of India’s interests including Kashmir and so did Israel. Creating enemity out of nothing does not sound good. Live and let live. Cheers!

  2. Sir, i on a daily basis read the news on your site & today it is the first time I would like to comment on. The charge levelled against India by US & other countries has no logical base because if same parameter is applied on US it won’t be able to take any stand on it. The only policy US follows is: either you are with or against us. Any country that stands by US is right & any country which does not stand by the US is wrong. All sorts of human right violations, all sort of terrorism & all the wrong forms of democracy is in the later country which is against US, like IRAN. & the very best example of former type of country is Saudi Arabia.

    The stand taken by India clearly stands that we will not let Western Imperialism to dominate us with regard to our foreign policy even if it is US.

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