Jan 29, 2018, 9:19 PM
News Code: 82812896
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Expert: India must resume its original Iran strategy

New Delhi, Jan 29, IRNA - An Indian expert of the world economic affairs believes that India should take an independent stance on improving its ties with Iran by reviving its original Iran strategy, irrespective of the US disapproval.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on the need for improvement of the economic relations between Iran and India, the columnist and author Sourajit Aiyer said: “India must be a master of its own policy and must resume its original Iran strategy, irrespective of the disapproval of its powerful allies, including the US.”

Elaborating on Iran’s importance for India in consolidating its presence in Afghanistan and the Central Asia, Aiyer said: “Iran’s emergence as a big market following easing the major part of the international economic sanctions on the Islamic nation is an opportune moment for India to dig deeper ground with Pakistan’s western neighbors. Intelligence sharing in the neighborhood is a key need, even for economic cooperation projects. India needs to build connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia, be it for energy or trade, and its infrastructure projects in Iran are crucial in securing these relations.”

“If India’s allies such as the US raise concerns regarding Indo-Iran relations, it is only fair that India adopts a strong stance. India will benefit from being selfish in this case, or the nation will definitely become a victim of the varying policy agendas of her allies and global powers, particularly the US,” he added.

On India’s role in improving Iran’s economic development, Aiyer said: “India can be the friend Iran needs. Public spending on projects shall be at the top of the President Rouhani during his 2ndterm in office, as job creation is a socio-economic concern. Indian firms have an opportunity to partner on public tenders in Iran. Iran needs a reliable partner for its economic development agenda now more than ever.”

“Last year, India made the first move with the Chabahar project deal. But, if India continues to dither on its Iran strategy on the pretext of not upsetting the US, Iran will cease to view India as a reliable partner,” added the international analyst of economic affairs.

Advising India to ignore the US pressure and deepen its economic ties with Iran as fast as possible, Aiyer said: “India needs to act fast. India’s laxity may lead to these projects eventually going to the very powers that opposed the Rouhani government in the first place. Even China has made serious inroads into Iran for trade deals and its OBOR (One Belt, One Road) project. No country has been known to slow its pace in order to appease its allies.”

“By doing exactly that, India is only losing its opportunity. Till the US sanctions remain, foreign funding from the West remains restricted. Once the sanctions are negotiated, they will make a bee-line to the world’s newly opened market. Iran is an open terrain for China, given its deep funding pockets through its banks and funds. If India can structure its funding solution, it still has a fair chance of competing in Iran’s projects.” he added.

“If India wants to be Iran’s long-term ally, while addressing geostrategic interests, it needs to act fast and selfishly. If India fails to do so, this will be a golden opportunity lost,” the columnist concluded.

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