Thursday, February 16, 2012

Resist US blackmail on Iran By NITYA CHAKRABORTY - The Free Press Journal, Mumbai, India

 While Mumbai's 2 major English language newspapers, The Times of India and Indian Express are reluctant to follow Government's line of neutrality on the Delhi Bomb blast supposedly targeted on an Israeli Diplomatic car, Mumbai's FREE PRESS JOURNAL is apparently not vulnerable to Jewish and US pressure groups in India and had been publishing articles that go deeper into the intricacies of relations between India and Iran and how it is in our national interest to not to bow down to unwarranted and automatic hegemonic pressures from the US and Israel. India will have now on to be extra vigilant that the two rogue powers do not take revenge measures if and when India resists their blackmail.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


Resist US blackmail on Iran
  • India
  • Feb 16, 2012

The time has come for our Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to call the US bluff and frankly tell these Americans that Indians have enough intelligence to decide how to deal with the Iran issue and there is no need to be dictated by the foreign policy interests of another country.

Dr. Singh is a soft person and the US administration got the upper hand because of the Indian Prime Ministers big anxiety to get the India- US Nuclear Deal clinched at any cost. That phase is over and Indias hopes of getting a big deal by signing the Agreement, have not been fulfilled. Rather, the US has started direct interference in the trade policy of India by putting big pressure to join the trade embargo imposed by it unilaterally.

The US highhandedness has now gone too far. Following the incident involving the Israeli diplomat on Monday, the US has started an orchestrated campaign as if the Iranian Government is directly involved in the bomb blast and India has to join the war against terror with the US and Israel targeted at Iran. The US senators are warning the Indian officials in Washington against our soft handling of the Iranian issue and what is more, the US is protesting against the sending of an Indian business delegation to Teheran to boost bilateral ties.

Traditionally, the US administration has always had a powerful Jewish lobby to influence policies. They are most active in the US chambers and also pressure groups. There is a consistent campaign now that India is ignoring the US imposed sanctions on Iran and tough stand should be taken against India to ensure that it falls in line with the US position. This clamour began after the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's candid statement last month in Chicago that India would not care for US sanctions, it will abide by only sanctions imposed by the United Nations and its Iran policy will be based on its own understanding within the framework of the UN decisions.

This pressure from the US will be mounting in the coming days further and India has to make clear its position with an equally tough stand. India is a sovereign nation and it knows well how to abide by the international laws as also its national interests. Iran is India's second largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia and India is working on a formula to arrange the payment for oil imports so that the crucial oil supplies are maintained and at the same time, the payments can be made to the Iranians who certainly need the funds as urgently as India requires the oil supplies. Discussions have taken place for stepping up exports of goods and services from India so that the liability due to oil imports get reduced.

India has the prerogative to decide on this and the US has no business to object to such arrangements China is expanding its exports to Iran and in the same manner, China is trying to reduce its dependence on oil supplies.

China is taking measures on the basis of its best trade interests and it is caring a hoot for the US sanctions. It has now got more leverage with Iranian regime and, in fact, China is waiting to expand its role further in energy and construction activities in Iran in the context of the withdrawal of some western companies from Iran. China is a big competitor to India in the west and central Asia region in the area of energy security and India can not leave the ground to China by reducing its commitments to Iran.

The US has made a mess of its foreign policy by getting influenced by the Israeli lobby in the administration. This lobby is for regime change in the Muslim nations to suit its own strategic interests. President Obama, despite his unorthodox views on a number of issues, is a prisoner to this set of people who are traditionally very strong in the Democratic Party leadership. In the Presidential elections year, the US despite all sabre rattling, cannot take any risk to hit Iran's so-called nuclear installations. Therefore, it wants to cripple Iran through trade embargo and other economic sanctions and it wants to rope in other nations including India to achieve its objective. India has to surrender its own strategic interests if it has to abide by US diktat. That will be a surrender of India's national interests to the US strategic interests.

Every country has its own perspective and understanding of its security concerns within the overall geo- political environment.
India has more concerns with the nuclear capability of Pakistan and the possible instability to the disadvantage of India in its neighbouring Afghanistan after the US withdrawal.

The US has not taken care till now to address the concerns of the Indian government.

Then how does US expect that India will join the trade embargo against Iran imposed by the US as a part of its strategic policy on regime change.

India has to give a fresh look at its so-called strategic ties with the US. India is not being fully involved in the US initiatives in Afghanistan. The post- US withdrawal situation may not be at all to India's advantage if the US moves on negotiations with the Taliban lead to some understanding. India which has good business equation with the Iranian regime is being pressurized by US to forgo that opportunity to serve US strategic interests. India's economic relations with Iran have nothing to do with Iran's policy on nuclearisation. 

This is a separate political issue being tackled in international forums. The US and EU are in fact pushing Iran to a hardened stand by economic sanctions.

For India, the issue of energy security is of prime importance in the economic planning of the country. India presently imports more than 70 percent of its crude oil from the other oil producing countries including Iran and Saudi Arabia.

This share might go up and India has a long- term interests in getting LNG supplies from Iran also. This necessitates a long- term relationship with Iran and that is possible within the parameters of the UN sanctions. India should talk to China, Russia and other BRICS members and see that BRICS take a stand on this issue at the summit in New Delhi next month. BRICS members are the engine of growth in the global economy. They have to stand up to the US blackmail and ensure that the trade embargo is not used to serve the strategic interests of any big nation.

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