Q. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to its situation. [Answer in 250 Words]
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF US-Iran Nuclear Pact
- US administration has recently withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal (commonly known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) calling it “disaster” and “one-sided.”
- The deal sought to eliminate stockpiles of enriched uranium in return of lifting nuclear-related economic sanctions.
- Sudden exit of the USA from this pact comes as a big jolt with wide ranging ramifications for different countries including India.
Impact on India
- Energy Trade
Being the second largest supplier of crude oil to India, Iran holds a key significance for India’s energy trade. Therefore, imposition of sanctions on Iran could lead to rise in the oil prices in India. This is likely to cause inflation and weakening of rupee in the international market.
2. Global Diplomatic Relations
- Such an act by the US administration of walking out of a consensus (first Paris Deal and now Iran Nuclear Deal) is seen as a breach of trust by many diplomacy experts in India.
- Hence a pressure is mounting on the government to consider new understanding of its bilateral relations with USA to safeguard the national interests.
3. Impact on Indian Diaspora
- The unilateral move by the USA to target Iran and side with its regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel, could destabilize Middle East (west Asia) region where over 8 million Indian migrants live and work.
- Any harm or injury to any Indian residing anywhere in the world does have an impact on the domestic soil as well.
4. Impact on Strategic Infrastructure
- The controversial exit of USA from the Iran Nuclear pact is likely to impact India’s interest in its strategically important Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.
- India is aiming to develop this port to circumvent Pakistan’s blocks on trade with landlocked Afghanistan.
- India has already committed about $85 million with plans for total of $500 million for the port.
5. International Connectivity
- India’s interests in International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC – starts from Iran and aims to cut right across Central Asia to Russia over a 7,200-km multi-mode network) would be impacted by the controversial gesture of USA.
- The developmental plans for INSTC had gained momentum after 2015 when the JCOPA was signed. However, the new US sanctions threatens strictures on countries doing military trade with US’s “adversaries: Russia, North Korea and Iran.
In the wake of multidimensional impact on the national interests of India, it is important that India responds to the international development in a diplomatic way.
- Reinforce Non-Alignment Philosophy
- The contemporary gulf between the US and Iran is nothing compared to that between USA and USSR during the cold war. However, by committing to the philosophy of Non-alignment, India immuned itself from the conflict of the two countries.
- For example – India should maintain its economic and strategic relations with USA but at the same time, she has the right to have cordial relations with Iran as well for its oil imports (energy security)
2. Diplomatic Communications
India should engage in private discussion with the U.S. counterparts and other stakeholders to resolve the issue peacefully through dialogue and diplomacy by respecting Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
- The sudden drastic step of US administration is being seen as violation of trust by the entire international community.
- India too does not support this move as it is dangerous for the stability of the global order.
- However, since India believes in the philosophy of “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaa” (May all live in peace), therefore it is important that India take the lead to handle this issue and sail through it.