Published : Wednesday, 09 July, 2014 11:06 AM
Relationship with few countries is perceived different but important which might affect Indian foreign policy, thus impacting our relationship with other countries.
Read: Why Iran is important for India?
The relationship between Iran and India spans centuries. There is a strong historical root between India and Iran. The two countries share several similar features in their culture, language and traditions. There always has been a trade route, people to people link open from the Persian Gulf to India.
Apart from being intrinsically linked through culture and traditions, Iran is important for India strategically as well as economically too.
Iran is a Shia dominated country and has always regarded the Sunni dominated neighboring Pakistan warily and has kept them at bay .Good relations between India and Iran can help India in isolating Pakistan across its diplomatic borders. Another point is in the event of war breaking out in the subcontinent, Iran’s geographic location can prove to be very advantageous for India when it seeks the help of Iran.
Iran is among the world’s largest suppliers of oil and natural gas. With environmental concerns rising among common man. Public transports are converting to compressed natural gas in order to provide a cleaner environment. It stands to reason that natural gas will soon become very important displacing the fossil fuel from its totem pole, adding to it is the recent unrest in Iraq, throwing questions about their supply and their ability to sustain an uninterrupted production of crude oil to Indian markets .All these factors make Iran an invaluable supplier of fuels.
- India is involved in the construction of a 560 mile long railway linking the Iranian port with the iron ore mines of Afghanistan. This venture is linked to a larger geopolitical and economic strategy.
- The railway link when completed can provide a boost in the arms for India in terms of strategic benefits. The completion of the track will increase the leverage in Afghanistan and Central Asian region as India can bypass Pakistan completely. Indian companies can explore the mineral wealth of Afghanistan, which is estimated at a staggering $3trillion
- A potential future benefit would be India’s greater involvement in the central Asian region, something that India is unable to do now as it is sandwiched between Pakistan and China. The mineral wealth could go a long way in meeting the energy security for India.
- The strategic importance of Chabahar port for India cannot be emphasized enough. Chabahar is the natural gateway to India into Afghanistan and central Asia .Iran has heavily invested in Chabahar by establishing rail connectivity with Afghanistan as well as expanding the port of Chabahar. Since Chabahar lies just 1000 Kilometers of Kandla, Gujarat, a direct shipping route can be opened between India and Chabahar.
India has been facing the problem of doing business or humanitarian work in Afghanistan thanks to the overt interference of hostile neighboring country; Chabahar route solves the access issue.Iran remains important to India both for its geopolitical location as well as from economic point. All efforts must be made to maintain a mutually beneficial tie between the two countries.