How India Lost Its Way In Persian Gulf

There have been two successive setbacks in the past one-year period to the India-Iran relationship. India has been literally eased out of two strategically important projects in Iran that were full of promise to uplift the ties in a medium and long term perspective.

The first was in July when Tehran dropped India from the planned construction of a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the border with Afghanistan.

The second has been the Iranian decision to award to a local company a contract worth USD 1.78 billion for the development of Farzad B Gas Field in the Persian Gulf, which India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd had discovered way back in 2008. Plainly put, India has been booted out of the project

In both cases, there was considerable delay on India’s part to negotiate a mutually satisfactory arrangement at government-to-government level, which apparently left Tehran with no choice but to proceed with the implementation of the projects without the involvement of Indian public sector companies.

Having said that, it was a political decision no doubt that Tehran took, considering the highly strategic nature of the two projects for not only bilateral ties but regional politics as well. While Farzad B Gas Field would have strengthened India’s energy security, the Chabahar-Zahedan rail line would be a vital link in regional connectivity for India with land-locked Afghanistan and the Central Asian region. In the latter case, India’s capacity to play an effective political role in Afghanistan could get impaired.

Fundamentally, these setbacks are to be attributed to the lack of strategic clarity in India’s policies toward Iran and the Persian Gulf region on the whole. Certain serious aberrations had crept into the Indian regional policies in the Persian Gulf in the recent 3-4 years since 2017 that negatively impacted Iran’s core strategic interests.

To recap, in a marked departure from the traditional policy not to take sides in the perennial inter-state tensions in the Persian Gulf between Iran and the GCC states, India began to identify itself with the countries of the anti-Iran regional front that the former US President Donald Trump was sponsoring — involving Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

How far the US encouraged India to be a ‘swing’ state to give ballast to the Israel-Saudi-UAE front or whether the Indian ‘tilt’ was a suo moto decision is a moot point today. Most likely, it was a combination of both templates, stemming out of a deeply flawed Indian assessment of the geopolitics of the West Asian region.

farzad
India gets booted out of Farzad-B gas field in Persian Gulf

Indian policy got predicated on an entirely unwarranted assumption that the US-led Israel-Saudi-Emirati bandwagon was irrevocably on the ascendance in regional politics and it would be advantageous for India to get on board as a fellow traveller.

Indeed, Indian strategic community contributed significantly to this mishap. With the signing of the Abraham Accords last August, Indian analysts were convinced that the country’s regional strategies in the Persian Gulf and West Asian region would be best served by forging even closer links with the Us-Israeli-Saudi-Emirati axis.

Two op-Eds in the Indian Express newspaper at that time titled India’s geopolitical interests are in close alignment with moderate Arab centre and India must seize the new strategic possibilities with the Gulf  and a piece penned by a former Indian diplomat in the Times of Israel titled Why India supports the Abraham Accord stand out as forceful presentation of the case. (here, here and here)

Unfortunately, the seductive arguments propagating the US-Israeli-Saudi-Emirati axis were falling on very receptive ears in the corridors of power in Delhi. They happened to fit in perfectly with the policy trajectory to give gravitas to the nascent quasi-alliance between India and steadily elevate it to a military alliance dovetailing with Washington’s so-called Indo-Pacific strategy against China in the geopolitical space from Western Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

Wasn’t India aware that the raison d’être of the US-Israeli-Saudi-Emirati front aimed at isolating Iran in its region and overthrowing the established regime in that country? Of course, Trump and his regional allies had left Delhi in no doubt whatsoever on that score. But, simply put, Delhi had no qualms over it, although Iran has been traditionally a friendly country that never encroached upon India’s vital interests and had consistently sought a close friendly partnership with India.

Without doubt, Tehran began noticing the shift in the Indian attitudes. While Delhi’s muted response to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (December 2017) signalled new churning, the enthusiastic welcome that Delhi extended to the Abraham Accords (August 2020) would have made Tehran sit up.

Indeed, Delhi kept silent when Iran’s Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed (January 2020) on Trump’s orders and when a top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by Israel. Delhi no longer bothered to hide its special relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia with accent on security cooperation, notwithstanding the two countries’ growing hostility toward Iran. In retrospect, India was cruising through a fantasyland, completely out of touch with the realities.

Then the inevitable happened in a rapid sequence — Trump lost the November election; Biden swung toward putting the US’ alliance with the Saudi regime under scanner; US began debating retrenchment from the West Asian region so as to focus on the Asia-Pacific; US stance on Palestinian issue reverted to the default position; and, most important, disregarding protests by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Biden decided to engage with Iran.

Of course, the lifting of the US sanctions against Iran, which is on the horizon, will completely realign the security scenario in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are already scrambling to engage Iran on their own initiative to cope with the profound transition that is expected in regional security. Above all, the notions stemming out of the Abraham Accords have died a sudden death. Th current conflict in Gaza even accentuates Israel’s isolation.

Meanwhile, Iran’s surge is in the cards. The lifting of US sanctions and ensuing integration into the world economy will dramatically change the geopolitics of Iran. Iran is a very rich country, and with or without India’s cooperation, it will embark on an ambitious programme of economic reconstruction. Symptomatic of it is the recent 25-year, $400 billion pact of economic cooperation with China.

From the Indian perspective, the easing of tensions in Iran’s problematic relationship with Saudi Arabia should be seized as a window of opportunity to inject new dynamism into the Indian policy. India should quietly bury the disastrous Gulf policy trajectory of the recent years built on wrong assumptions and act quickly to revive the verve of the Iran-India cooperation. Reviving the purchase of Iranian oil could be a first step. The road to Tehran will soon get crowded.

Source: The Indian Punchline

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3 Comments
  1. 0use4msm

    India is threatening to lose all its regional allies and partners by setting itself up as the main bulwark against Chinese investment in Indian Ocean infrastructure, to the point that it is actively supporting destabilization in neighboring countries such as Myanmar. New Delhi is going to learn the hard way that it is taking the wrong course.

  2. SAMIR SARDANA

    The Persians have misread the Indian DNA , for more than half a century.The Days of Nehru and Indira Gandhi ,and their idealism are gone. In those days,India was confined to mouthing platitudes,and taking on smaller nations , like in the 1971 war, and the IPKF, in Sri Lanka – and was far away from the Camp of the USA.

    It was the India of Gandhi,and NOT the Hindoo Nation of the RSS ,which was destined to redeem its lost glory (as per the clowns of the RSS).There was no glory and no Hindoo Kingdom -ever – and so the destruction of the Indian Nation is inevitable (also as per past patterns of Indian History).

    Every Indo-Iranian JV and meeting, was preceded by croaks,about the 3000 year “common history and culture”, which means nothing, and is entirely false !

    The overweening and misplaced ambition of the Hindoo nation, of the RSS,has placed India into a collision course with the PRC – and this inferiority complex of the Hindoos (of 3000 years of rape,pillage and slavery) has been used by the USA and Israel, to entrap the Indians into a Anti-PRC alliance, via the QUAD and several other alliances

    Sooner rather than later ,the Indian Military procurement, will be from the USA or NATO Nations – and that will make India, a Vasal state, of the USA.

    The Persians did NOT see the above – which was just as stark, as a Muslim skull cap, worn by Moses Maimonides.

    A nation like India can NEVER be a ally of the Persians.India is a weak and vulnerable nation – as was fundamentally conceived as such,as under :

    India has limited oil,gas and hydrocarbon resources
    INDIA HAS NO RESERVES OF CRITICAL RARE EARTHS ,AND IS DEFICIENT IN MOST RARE EARTHS
    A population of 1.3 billion, is NOW a liability
    With a busted banking system,India needs 100s of Billions of USD in FDI which can come only from the EU or USA or Saudia and the so-called moderate GCC states
    The desire to destroy Pakistan,makes it inevitable for India to Court Saudia,and to also counter the OIC ,on Kashmir and Pakistan
    The Only Non Muslim,Non -Marxist ,Non-African nation in the world (post Khashoggi) with a population of more than 50 million,which will roll out the red carpet ,for the Saudi Prince,is India
    India has a worthless defense manufacturing industry
    India has an obsolete army and airforce
    The only nation in the world which can provide the critical hi-tech,military tech and economic aid, to India, to stand up to PRC and Pakistan (at the same time) and become a military and economic power, is the USA
    The only nation which can do SOMETHING, to get India into the UNSC is the USA

    Therefore,India was destined to be, and IS NOW a lapdog of the USA.Such a nation cannot be a Persian ally or partners.The USA can easily arm twist India on Persia.

    The USA is even COERCING THE INDIANS,NOT TO BUY THE S400 ADS from Russia.The Russians are also NOT GETTING IT.The Future of Russia, is in PRC and Persia.

    The Iranians forgot what Cyrus said about the Indians,as under:

    The wisdom of the “children of Cyrus,Darius and Xerxes”,encapsulates the “transcendence of Human thought”, the “Deuterosis of the Hindoo”, as under:

    A “Persian dictionary”,titled “Lughet-e-Kishwari”,published in Lucknow in 1964,gives the meaning of the word Hindu as “chore [thief], dakoo [dacoit],raahzan [waylayer], and ghulam [slave].

    Another example that the Persians ignored in Indian History, is the Tale of a Great Indian King Ranjit Singh – perhaps the greatest Indian King ever.There are some folklore tales 2000 years ago,but they are by an large takes.This man Ranjit Singh had an empire went went up to Afghanistan and is of recent history.

    BUT ……. all his success was due to French and American Generals, hired by Ranjit Singh, for his artillery and cavalry.THE LESSON – INDIANS HAVE ALWAYS USED THE WHITE MAN,TO SAVE THEIR NATIONS !

    Lastly,Indians have a “white skin complex” and the “white man is God” syndrome.The “Rig Veda” describes the Hindoo Gods as WHITE SKINNED,BLUE EYED AND GOLDEN HAIRED ! MAMMA MIA ! JUST LIKE THE AMERICANS !

    1.1.7 Mantra 7 – Indra (Author: Madhucchandas Vaisvamitra)

     Indra hath ever close to him his two bay steeds and word-yoked car,Indra the golden, thunder-armed.

    1.1.79 Mantra 79 – Agni (Author: Gotama Rahugana)

    He in mid-air’s expanse hath golden tresses; a raging serpent, like the rushing tempest:

    THE ABOVE SAID VERSES OF THE RIG VEDA, EXPLAINS THE 200 YEAR SLAVERY OF THE INDIANS TO THE BRITS, AND THE 300 YEAR SLAVERY TO THE PORTUGESE, AND THE 800 YEAR SLAVERY TO THE MUGHALS !

    THE 60 YEARS OF THE CONGRESS RULE, WAS AN ABERRATION – BEYOND THE 3 TIMES STANDARD DEVIATION LIMIT.

    THE TRAGEDY IS THAT THE PERSIANS WROTE THE RIG VEDA – AND STILL THEY MISSED OUT THE INDIAN DNA !

    On the Flip side,Indian support on Qasim or N deal or Oil embargos or UN Sanctions or Rupee trade – would have been of NO USE to the Persians – and they conned the Indians to develop Chabbar , and make a gift of the gas fields !

    Now India is with the transcendental enemies of Iran – Israel,Kuwait and Saudia, and Persia is with the transcendental enemy of India – which is the PRC.

    India has 2 fundamental weaknesses in its security. The Chicken’s neck which is in the hands of the PRC and the 2nd being Kashmir – which is NOW in the hands of the Persians, PRC, Pakistan and Turkey !

    DOOM for India is inevitable !

  3. samir sardana

    The Persians have misread the Indian DNA , for more than half a century.The Days of Nehru and Indira Gandhi ,and their idealism are gone. In those days,India was confined to mouthing platitudes,and taking on smaller nations , like in the 1971 war, and the IPKF, in Sri Lanka – and was far away from the Camp of the USA.

    It was the India of Gandhi,and NOT the Hindoo Nation of the RSS ,which was destined to redeem its lost glory (as per the clowns of the RSS).There was no glory and no Hindoo Kingdom -ever – and so the destruction of the Indian Nation is inevitable (also as per past patterns of Indian History).

    Every Indo-Iranian JV and meeting, was preceded by croaks,about the 3000 year “common history and culture”, which means nothing, and is entirely false !

    The overweening and misplaced ambition of the Hindoo nation, of the RSS,has placed India into a collision course with the PRC – and this inferiority complex of the Hindoos (of 3000 years of rape,pillage and slavery) has been used by the USA and Israel, to entrap the Indians into a Anti-PRC alliance, via the QUAD and several other alliances

    Sooner rather than later ,the Indian Military procurement, will be from the USA or NATO Nations – and that will make India, a Vasal state, of the USA.

    The Persians did NOT see the above – which was just as stark, as a Muslim skull cap, worn by Moses Maimonides.dindooohindoo

    A nation like India can NEVER be a ally of the Persians.India is a weak and vulnerable nation – as was fundamentally conceived as such,as under :

    India has limited oil,gas and hydrocarbon resources
    INDIA HAS NO RESERVES OF CRITICAL RARE EARTHS ,AND IS DEFICIENT IN MOST RARE EARTHS
    A population of 1.3 billion, is NOW a liability
    With a busted banking system,India needs 100s of Billions of USD in FDI which can come only from the EU or USA or Saudia and the so-called moderate GCC states
    The desire to destroy Pakistan,makes it inevitable for India to Court Saudia,and to also counter the OIC ,on Kashmir and Pakistan
    The Only Non Muslim,Non -Marxist ,Non-African nation in the world (post Khashoggi) with a population of more than 50 million,which will roll out the red carpet ,for the Saudi Prince,is India
    India has a worthless defense manufacturing industry
    India has an obsolete army and airforce
    The only nation in the world which can provide the critical hi-tech,military tech and economic aid, to India, to stand up to PRC and Pakistan (at the same time) and become a military and economic power, is the USA
    The only nation which can do SOMETHING, to get India into the UNSC is the USA

    Therefore,India was destined to be, and IS NOW a lapdog of the USA.Such a nation cannot be a Persian ally or partners.The USA can easily arm twist India on Persia.

    The USA is even COERCING THE INDIANS,NOT TO BUY THE S400 ADS from Russia.The Russians are also NOT GETTING IT.The Future of Russia, is in PRC and Persia.

    The Iranians forgot what Cyrus said about the Indians,as under:

    The wisdom of the “children of Cyrus,Darius and Xerxes”,encapsulates the “transcendence of Human thought”, the “Deuterosis of the Hindoo”, as under:

    A “Persian dictionary”,titled “Lughet-e-Kishwari”,published in Lucknow in 1964,gives the meaning of the word Hindu as “chore [thief], dakoo [dacoit],raahzan [waylayer], and ghulam [slave].

    Another example that the Persians ignored in Indian History, is the Tale of a Great Indian King Ranjit Singh – perhaps the greatest Indian King ever.There are some folklore tales 2000 years ago,but they are by an large takes.This man Ranjit Singh had an empire went went up to Afghanistan and is of recent history.

    BUT ……. all his success was due to French and American Generals, hired by Ranjit Singh, for his artillery and cavalry.THE LESSON – INDIANS HAVE ALWAYS USED THE WHITE MAN,TO SAVE THEIR NATIONS !

    Lastly,Indians have a “white skin complex” and the “white man is God” syndrome.The “Rig Veda” describes the Hindoo Gods as WHITE SKINNED,BLUE EYED AND GOLDEN HAIRED ! MAMMA MIA ! JUST LIKE THE AMERICANS !

    1.1.7 Mantra 7 – Indra (Author: Madhucchandas Vaisvamitra)

     Indra hath ever close to him his two bay steeds and word-yoked car,Indra the golden, thunder-armed.

    1.1.79 Mantra 79 – Agni (Author: Gotama Rahugana)

    He in mid-air’s expanse hath golden tresses; a raging serpent, like the rushing tempest:

    THE ABOVE SAID VERSES OF THE RIG VEDA, EXPLAINS THE 200 YEAR SLAVERY OF THE INDIANS TO THE BRITS, AND THE 300 YEAR SLAVERY TO THE PORTUGESE, AND THE 800 YEAR SLAVERY TO THE MUGHALS !

    THE 60 YEARS OF THE CONGRESS RULE, WAS AN ABERRATION – BEYOND THE 3 TIMES STANDARD DEVIATION LIMIT.

    THE TRAGEDY IS THAT THE PERSIANS WROTE THE RIG VEDA – AND STILL THEY MISSED OUT THE INDIAN DNA !

    On the Flip side,Indian support on Qasim or N deal or Oil embargos or UN Sanctions or Rupee trade – would have been of NO USE to the Persians – and they conned the Indians to develop Chabbar , and make a gift of the gas fields !

    Now India is with the transcendental enemies of Iran – Israel,Kuwait and Saudia, and Persia is with the transcendental enemy of India – which is the PRC.

    India has 2 fundamental weaknesses in its security. The Chicken’s neck which is in the hands of the PRC and the 2nd being Kashmir – which is NOW in the hands of the Persians, PRC, Pakistan and Turkey !

    DOOM for India is inevitable !

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