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Interest & Fear

The US is all set to impose fresh sanctions on Iran, as diplomatic ties between the two nations have deteriorated. Recently, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his US counterpart Donald Trump have traded barbs, amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington. Soon after President Rouhani warned the US that war with Tehran would be the “mother of all wars“, ‘furious’ Trump tweeted: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.
It all began in May when the US announced that it would impose fresh (political and economic) sanctions on Iran, if the West Asian nation refused to abandon its nuclear programme. As Iran has decided not to bow down to pressure from the US, Washington has started making preparations for imposing sanctions.

India, too, is bracing for more pressure from the US on Iran sanctions in the coming weeks. The South Asian nation recently announced that its relations with Tehran would remain the same as before, with Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) Vijay Kumar Singh saying: “India’s bilateral relations with Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by India’s relations with any third country.
Even the global community is worried about how India maintains diplomatic balance with the two belligerent states. Germany has advised India to remain firm, as far as its sovereignty is concerned, and maintain close ties with Iran. Other European nations, too, want India to enjoy friendly relation with the Islamic republic. The major European powers have strongly criticised President Trump’s aggressive foreign policy, as the US president is constantly trying to influence others’ policy. Germany and its neighbouring Central European countries are dissatisfied with President Trump’s stand on NATO and Eurozone. He recently made the situation worse by showering praises on Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of their summit in Helsinki. Therefore, Germany and its neighbours would be happy, if India safeguards its national interest by defying the US diktat to stop Iranian oil imports.

Iranian President & Indian PM

Interestingly, Iran’s relations with the Central European nations have never been cordial. Like the US, the European countries are against Tehran’s nuclear programme. However, the US president’s aggressive diplomacy has prompted them to reset their respective foreign policies. This is an ideal situation for India to take a bold step and to make it clear to the US that it still considers Iran as an important partner for energy and connectivity. It may not be easy for India to confront the US (alone), but New Delhi gets a golden opportunity to safeguard its own interest by going against Washington in the changing global diplomatic landscape.
Perhaps, it’s the right time (also) for the global community to show that it is not scared of the US anymore!

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