India mired in self-interest

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by bhramos, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    13,206
    Likes Received:
    6,638
    Location:
    Telangana/India/Bharat
    India mired in self-interest

    A new government report lists 22 nations that maintain significant business relationships with Iran despite new U.N. sanctions and even more restrictive laws enacted in Europe and the United States.

    Among the 22 states are the usual bad actors, including China and Russia - even Belarus. But one state dominates the list; one state allows more companies to do business with Iran than any other - India, the state that reacts to every new foreign-policy development with just one question:

    What about me?

    Shortly after the United States enacted new sanctions last month, India's foreign minister complained that the American law would "have a direct and adverse impact on Indian companies and, more importantly, on our energy security." Petroleum Secretary S. Sundareshan added: "You would appreciate that there are immense opportunities in the oil and gas sector in Iran," and "we would certainly like to utilize these opportunities without sanctions."

    Right away, India reopened negotiations with Iran to build a $7.4 billion natural-gas pipeline between the two states. Indian newspaper editorials cheered the decision and grumbled about foreign interference.

    U.N. sanctions are not law, and all of the states openly doing business with Iran are developing oil fields or buying oil, natural gas and other petroleum derivatives, which do not necessarily violate the new sanctions. Still, energy companies in Italy, Norway and Spain, among others, immediately canceled oil and natural-gas development projects worth tens of billions of dollars.

    The federal report, by the Government Accountability Office, said one Indian company, Ashok Leyland Project Services, wrote to Washington last month saying it had "had not made binding agreements" with Iran and would strive to comply with U.S. law. Last December, however, Ashok Leyland and another Indian company announced that they had signed "broad enabling agreements with the Iranian authorities concerning development of gas fields and liquefaction facilities in Iran," a press release said.

    India is certainly not the only state that acts more often than not in a totally self-interested manner, with little regard for the consequences in other nations. But India is the world's largest democracy, an important player in the high-technology world and is generally viewed, like China and Brazil, as one of the world's rising powers.

    What's more, India is campaigning hard to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. So wouldn't you expect India to behave as if it cared about the rest of the world?

    Well, India has steadfastly refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and secretly developed nuclear weapons, prompting Pakistan to do the same - Pakistan, one of the world's least stable nations, as its flaccid response to the flooding crisis amply demonstrates.

    Even before U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen began in December, India flatly declared that it would not accept any limits on its greenhouse-gas emissions. China at least pretended to show concern and commitment.

    But perhaps the most outrageous example came in 2007, when the military junta in Burma crushed the Buddhist monks' pro-democracy demonstrations. The government arrested or shot hundreds of them.

    On clandestine radio and Internet broadcasts, Burmese democracy advocates pleaded with the world for help. Next door in New Delhi just then, while soldiers were still torturing and killing monks, the Indian government proclaimed that Burma remained "a close and friendly neighbor" and dispatched its petroleum minister to the Burmese capital to make a deal. He signed a three-year energy-exploration agreement that fed cash to the junta.

    Then, avoiding the shootings and demonstrations in the street, the minister drove to the airport and flew home.

    The new American sanctions require the president to open an investigation if he is given "credible evidence that a person is engaged in certain prohibited activities, such as investment in the development of Iran's energy sector," the government report noted. That's what prompted the Italian, Norwegian and Spanish companies to cancel their projects. Companies from 10 other states sent Washington letters that attempt to explain their activities.

    In truth, the United States seldom has enforced its Iran sanctions on other, friendly states. An earlier law, enacted in 1996, imposed sanctions on any company that invested more than $20 million in Iran's energy business in any given year. Dozens of companies violate that, but the United States has not sanctioned anyone for the last 12 years.

    India is certainly not the only nation flouting U.S. sanction laws. The point is that its performance here fits into a long-standing pattern of behavior that seems to say: The world's rules don't apply to us.



    Read more: India mired in self-interest
     
  2.  
  3. White Clouds

    White Clouds Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Delhi
    I would just like to state that US laws are not international/ global laws, India as a sovereign county has every right to work in it's self interest and it should. Iran is not our(India's) enemy.
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    5,410
    Likes Received:
    971
    So who's interest should India be mired in? The United States'?

    And does Joel Brinkley really believe that 'the concern for world affairs that transcends national interest' in the members of the P-5 is anything more than flaky rhetoric and a work of fiction?

    India is Iran's friend because it is in her interest to do so. Just as it is in her interest presently to be the United States'.

    The argument that Pakistan has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because India has not done so is equally 'flaccid' and specious. Pakistan does not sign the NPT because nuclear weapons are the only credible means of its survival. It can engage India in limited armed conflict, but cannot hope to match India militarily conventionally.

    The argument that China's 'pretension to show concern and commitment' is somehow greater than India's flat-out non-committal also befuddles me. Would you like whispered sweet nothings while someone screws you or would you just like to know that you are?

    'The world's rules don't apply to us' because the 'world' has no rules.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,543
    Likes Received:
    6,547
    USA already threw a monkey wrench in relations with Iran with the Bush nuclear deal where India voted against Iran. India needs to maintain an independent foreign policy not every nation in the world needs to bendover over backwards to please USA (we have a neighbor who is already doing a ggod job).
     
  6. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,584
    Likes Received:
    1,760
    Location:
    India
    Our self interest dictates we be friendly with Israel and Iran, Russia and the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, Burma and Sri Lanka..so be it. At least we are not supporting the despicable butchers of Darfur, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Congo unlike the Chinese..(ok so we do support Than Shwe)
     
  7. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    What is wrong in being selfish in international stage? How many times has US bled for India when it came to terrorists from cross-border attacked our civilians? How many times did USA declare Pakistan a terrorist state despite it declaring Iraq as a rogue nation without any solid proof of WMD? How many times did USA concern itself with identifying Arunachal as a part of India rather than keeping it "disputed" on its official map?

    Wow! So I ask this to the US government : as a country of a billion or 1/6h of mankind, whose interest should we be mired in? Some superpower that lives across 3 continents and 2 oceans or ourselves?

    Here's a tip for our friends in Pentagon:

    India's the only country on earth that can keep positive relations with Israel and Iran, USA and Russia, China and Vietnam, Arabs and Jews, etc all at the same time and that is because of our neutral policy. And we'd like to keep it. You don't have the courage to raise such issue with Chinese so you do the next best thing: try to bully us. We took the nuke deal in exchange for voting against Iranian nukes, keeping our end of the deal as you did yours. It a done business. We've been asking you to listen to us since 1989 massacre of Kashmiri Hindus. Buddhists and Sikhs about the religious terrorism that your puppy Pakistan was creating in the name of religion... your deaf ears cost us thousands of innocent lives. Fine...even then we came forward for good ties.

    Then we came to 26/11 where 10 Pakistani proved terrorists massacred more than 200 Indians and even 7 of your own Americans.. EVEN THEN, you didn't declare Pakistan a terrorist state.

    Now who's being selfish here?
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Every country is guided by its self interests. Nothing wrong about it. I will take the burma issue first. If the US claims that india is turning a blind eye to the democracy movement there, then it does not have to look too far to see who else does it. Right the US itself is more than happy to deal with dictators and oppressive regimes where it suits it fine. Pakistan, Saudis come to mind immediately.
    India actually by heart does not want to deal with the junta in burma but is forced to because of the chinese. Where the chinese go, our security is put at risk. So we have to counter. Second, as with any big power today energy security is prime driver of International relations. So india has to engage burma because of its gas reserves. If the US can wage a war for oil, india is but doing it peacefully.
    Iran has been a friend of india since the dawn of civilization. We have legitimate interests there. It is a leading source of our energy and we cannot abandon it. India voted against it in the IAEA as the vote actually did nothing to hurt iran. Iran stays on course on whatever it plans to do. it is the US which has failed to use Indias good relations with iran to try to break the deadlock in iran. Its pretty strange that it tries to deal with the Taliban through rogues like pakistan but not deal with iran through friends like india.
    India has always been independent in its foreign policy and will continue to do so. Sometimes it is called as weak state, but if you look at it the other way, india really has no enemies in the world save two and that is because of its policies.
     
  9. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    You said it bub. How do we care what sort of government is there in Burma whether it is a democracy or dictatorship as long as they are good towards India? We Indians never invented democracy and were ruled by powerful and good kings for hundreds of thousands of years. Why should we be the torch-bearers of Democracy? US doesn't seem to mind the madhouse theocracy that runs in its darling Saudi Arabia's territory or even managing to sponsor fanatic dictators like Zia Ul Haq and his predecessors for so many decades. Where was the ideal goal of democracy then?

    Trying to be a stupid fool and dying out for the sake of some stupid political form of rule that was not even ours, we've lost so much out, all while China has managed to turn our neighbourhood into its own close friends because it didn't give a damn what sort of government ruled these countries as long as they were friendly to China. We should now do the same rather than isolate Burma. Burmese share our borders and have helped eradicate many terrorists and drug-lords in our border with them and for this, we must show our gratitude in kind to the Burmese government by using this as a stepping stone to build up stronger and perhaps strategic military ties with Burmese. That would keep aggressive small states like Bangladesh in check since Burma is their hush-hush foe.

    You said we don't want to engage with Burmese junta at heart. I think it is quite the opposite. We always wanted to have a secure neighbourhood but because of so-called international pressure from countries sitting 2-3 continents away from us safe in their ocean-and-docile-countries surrounded neighbourhood. Burma is probably the third strongest country in South Asia after us and Pakistan and therefore it is important that we don't interfere in their internal matters and rather en-cash good ties and secure our interests with them. We should adhere to our neutral policy rather than dying out for some stupid political ideal.

    We made this blunder in Nepal when King Gyanendra took power and China en-cashed it. Now Nepal is 60% on their side and we have to beg to them to come to our side. Let us not repeat this mistake. Same goes for Iran. We voted as you said, not because we care for some stupid Democracy coming up there but because it was a fairly harmless deal in which we could get nuke deal as well as not hurt Iran enough to make them turn against us. I am sure some deal might be done to compensate that.

    We are neutral country and we must maintain our neutrality as much as possible in every situation. Pakistan still hasn't learnt from its past habit of choosing one side: earlier it stuck with NATO and now it is trying to stick with China. Choosing militaristic sides makes a country lose a lot more than just technology but also independent foreign policy.
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Tshering india for a long time was with Aung sang su kyi and her democracy movement. We disbanded them when China moved in and reports started to surface about china setting shop in coco islands. That's when india really started to do business with burma.
     
  11. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    26
    China, India and Malaysia have important economic interests in Sudan
     
  12. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    401
    Talk about 'Pot calling the kettle black',
    US is the country that considers Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to be great countries , while Cuba and Venezuela (2 countries that have excellent health care system and 99% literacy) are considered evil.

    All countries look after their own interest and US is no exception, If Myanmar had a government that was signing billion dollar gas deals with US then their government wouldn't even have recognized who Aung Sung Su Kyi is.
     

Share This Page