India voices opposition to fresh Iran sanctions

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India opposed to any sanctions affecting people of Iran

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Washington, March 16: India on Tuesday said it is opposed to any sanctions on Iran that would have a direct impact on the common people of the country and hoped the issues between Tehran and the international community will be resolved through dialogue.

“It continues to be our view that sanctions that target Iranian people and cause difficulties to the ordinary man, woman and child would not be conducive to a resolution of this question,” Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said in response to a question at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington-based think-tank.

She was delivering a lecture on ‘Two Democracies -- Defining te Essence of India-US Partnership’

Led by the US, international community the UN Security Council in particular is now contemplating sanctions against Iran; though it is not known what form those sanctions would take place.

“We do not want more instability in that region. Iran is very much a part of our region. Iran for instance has a very important role to play in the developing situation in Afghanistan and we of course have strong bilateral ties with Iran,” the Foreign Secretary said.

Ms. Rao, who was in Tehran last month to hold talks with her Iranian counterparts, said India has long historical and cultural ties with Iran.

She said Iran needs to short this matter out with transparency and through meaningful dialogue with the international interlocutors concerned.

“We believe, Iran has both rights and responsibilities. Responsibilities, stemming from its membership of the NPT and also rights to develop its nuclear energy for peaceful process,” Ms. Rao said.

Hoping that the situation does not get complicated further, Foreign Secretary said that “we try and resolve this issue through further dialogue.”


-----Agencies


http://www.siasat.com/english/news/india-opposed-any-sanctions-affecting-people-iran


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Don’t Forget India

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev

03.16.2010



India is following Brazil in throwing cold water on U.S. plans for strengthening sanctions on Iran. Speaking yesterday in Washington, India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was quite clear: “It continues to be our view that sanctions that target Iranian people and cause difficulties to the ordinary man, woman and child would not be conducive to a resolution of this question.” She then explained why New Delhi has a different perception of Iran than Washington: “We do not want more instability in that region. Iran is very much a part of our region. Iran for instance has a very important role to play in the developing situation in Afghanistan and we of course have strong bilateral ties with Iran.” And while the Indian government maintains that Indian firms are not supplying refined-petroleum products to Tehran—the subject of proposed new unilateral U.S. sanctions being considered by Congress—Jatin Prasada, the junior minister for petroleum and natural gas, told the Lok Sabha that the government “has conveyed to the US government that sanctions on Iran have proved to be counter-productive and that all differences with Iran should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiation.”

India’s foreign-policy establishment has a different set of calculations when considering Iran. Washington still sees Tehran largely through the lens of its activities westward from the Persian Gulf: a threat to Gulf security, a supporter of anti-American movements in Iraq and Lebanon, a spoiler in the Arab-Israeli peace process. New Delhi views Iran as a critical regional partner, and with growing concerns about the future of Afghanistan, an essential component to preserve India’s influence in Central Asia. Former–Foreign Secretary Lilit Mansingh was quite blunt in his appraisal last week: “Unless India prepares for the time when the Americans pull out [of Afghanistan], we will not be in a position to face the political crisis that it will trigger.” His solution: revive the India-Russia-Iran “axis” which supported the Northern Alliance during the 1990s, to ensure against the revival of the Taliban. If that is the case, then India is not likely to be putting coercive pressure on Tehran anytime soon.

Some Americans believe that the prospect of lucrative commercial and technological deals with the United States will swing things Washington’s way. But Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to India last week dampens some of those expectations, with the number of new Russian-Indian contracts that were penciled in. Would India prefer more involvement from U.S. firms? Certainly. But at present, as Martin Walker noted yesterday: “American hopes of winning a major slice of these contracts have been stalled over an elusive agreement on reprocessing nuclear fuel. . . . Two far-reaching agreements on U.S.-Indian military cooperation have stalled, as have other projects for hi-tech and space research cooperation.”

The Obama administration has only a few weeks left before Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in Washington. The United States needs to be clear about what it is prepared to offer to secure a strategic partnership with India, and be able to clearly determine what its red lines are. The coverage in the Indian press over reaction to special envoy Richard Holbrooke’s statements about India not being targeted by terrorist activity in Kabul—whether those remarks have been clarified or not—are being interpreted as a sign that the U.S. government is not on the same page when it comes to India policy. After conferring with President Obama, Singh will be meeting with his fellow BRIC members (and with the South Africans in the IBSA format as well)—and if the BRIC emerges with a common position on Iran that opposes Washington’s, then I believe the current drive for a new round of stringent sanctions will fail. The interagency process needs to guarantee that Singh gets a clear message—because when he leaves Washington, his next stop will be Brasilia.


Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a senior editor at The National Interest, is a professor of national-security studies at the U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are entirely his own.


http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=23056
 
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ajtr

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would like to cross post here the following article.As evident india is shifting its foreign policy again.With the cold shoulder given by obama administration to india over AFPAK and nuke deal issue and also ignoring it,india is shifting again towards Russia and iran.We may see India and china also hedging their relations in near future. USA want to see India as its ally like south Korea,Japan, Australia to take care of its interest in south Asia and IOR.But the thing is India is not interested in playing such a role.It want a role which is independent from US foreign policy which at many times is flawed.there is lot of divergence in Indo-US foreign policy then compared to convergence.So what India will look for is equal partnership based on convergence with various powers of the multi polar world rather than be a lapdog of USA bandwagon.USA is wrong in assuming that India will blindly follow USA's strategic interests by sacrificing its own.

Putting India on the Atlantic

The United States sees India as a guarantor of the liberal international order – The 2010 QDR assumes that India will act in the general interests of the political and economic order that the Atlantic powers have established

On February 1st, 2010, the United States Department of Defense released the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The expiration of the Soviet Union had left the United States bereft of a grand strategy. In 1993, the US Congress mandated that the Department of Defense submit a report every four years on long term defence strategy and procurement. Although the four-year cycle does not directly correspond with the American presidential term, it does mean that every presidential administration is required to submit a QDR. Thus, the QDR gives a presidential administration the opportunity to both lay the tracks of future procurement, and to make a statement about its strategic orientation. The 2010 QDR, therefore, is one of the first major opportunities for the Obama administration to set forth its national security priorities, and to steer the national defence apparatus of the United States in its desired direction.

While the Bush administration’s 2006 QDR attempted to paint the struggle against al-Qaeda in grand, ideological terms, the 2010 QDR focuses on winning the nation’s wars and especially on maintaining the liberal international economic and political order that undergirds globalisation. For QDR 2010, stability is the watchword. The QDR treats India, China and Pakistan firmly within the context of the contribution or threat that each poses to the liberal international order, suggesting that India will act as guarantor of that order, that China may threaten the order, and that Pakistan requires assistance in maintaining order. However, the QDR fails to deal seriously with potential sources of friction in the US-India relationship, instead simply assuming that India will choose to support the US-designed international economic and political infrastructure.

The most positive assessment of the QDR’s appreciation for India’s role in the international security arena would note that the 2010 QDR devotes almost twice as much attention to India as its 2006 counterpart. A balanced observer would have to acknowledge that even this proportional increase amounts only to an expansion from seventy-eight words to one hundred and sixteen. Nevertheless, the heightened focus lies in the greater attention paid to Afghanistan-Pakistan, and to the Indian Ocean. The 2006 QDR treated the Afghanistan war as an accomplishment of the “Long War”, the ideological struggle between the United States and forces of terror personified in Osama bin Laden. Both because of events and because of a shift in ideology, the 2010 QDR treats the Af-Pak situation as a problem to be solved. It notes:

As the economic power, cultural reach, and political influence of India increase, it is assuming more influential role in global affairs. This growing influence, combined with democratic values it shares with the United States, an open political system, and a commitment to global stability,will present many opportunities for cooperation. India’s military capabilities are rapidly improving through increased defense acquisitions, and they now include long-range maritime surveillance, maritime interdiction and patrolling, air interdiction, and strategic airlift. India has already established its worldwide military influence through counterpiracy, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief efforts. As its military capabilities grow, India will contribute to Asia as a net provider of security in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

While much of this paragraph involves diplomatic-speak, it nevertheless carries several important indicators of how the United States views India and Indian military power. Indian democracy is important, but the commitment to global stability is key. The emphasis on growing Indian military power, especially those elements of military power that contribute to international stability, indicate that the United States understands India to be a partner in the maintenance of the liberal international trade system, and it perceives India’s military power as a guarantor of that system.

The QDR does not discuss either China or Pakistan in the same terms. It holds open the hope that China may play a constructive role in the maintenance of the liberal international order:

China’s military has begun to develop new roles, missions, and capabilities in support of its growing regional and global interests, which could enable it to play a more substantial and constructive role in international affairs.

However, where the QDR treats Indian military capabilities as a boon to international cooperation, it also discusses Chinese capabilities as a threat to the United States, and as a potentially destabilising force in the East Asian economic order. China’s development of anti-ship ballistic missiles, advanced submarine technology and cyber-warfare capabilities are all cited as areas of concern. To be sure, the QDR remains agnostic about eventual Chinese intentions, and recognises the importance of the Sino-American economic relationship. Nevertheless, the contrast between the treatment of China and India is striking.

Similarly, the QDR expresses skepticism about Pakistan’s contribution to international order. Rather than discuss the ways in which Pakistan might reinforce international stability, the central concern of the QDR seems to the ability of Pakistan and its friends to maintain stability within Pakistan’s borders. Pakistan receives more attention in the QDR than either China or India, which is evidence of US defence secretary Robert Gates’ pragmatic focus on current wars. The emphasis is on Pakistan’s ability and will to continue to carry out a counter-insurgency campaign against Taliban and Al Qaeda forces within its own borders. To this end, it describes assistance programs designed to increase Pakistani state-building capabilities, as well as to re-orient the Pakistani military away from conventional combat and towards the counter-insurgency doctrine that has recently characterised US military operations.

For understandable reasons, the QDR avoids the argument that issues concerning India, China and Pakistan might be interrelated. Indian capabilities are not discussed in the context of containing China, nor of positively influencing Pakistan. China’s relationship with Pakistan and potential rivalry with India receive no attention.

In this context, the implications for direct co-operation between the US and the Indian armed forces are substantial. By emphasising the regional reach of the Indian armed forces, the importance of the Indian Ocean, and the need to stabilise the liberal international order, the QDR creates grounds for military co-operation in several different arenas. For example, the Indian Navy has taken on responsibility for anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, along with the United States and a host of other countries. Because of its geographic position and familiarity with the Indian Ocean region, the Indian Navy is uniquely capable of managing anti-piracy operations between the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca. The QDR’s focus on maritime surveillance and interdiction capabilities suggests that the United States projects the Indian Navy as playing a major role in anti-piracy operations in the coming decades.

Concerns about terrorism are tied to concerns about piracy, both because of the presence of jihadi groups in Somalia and because of the maritime nature of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Indian Ocean, touching on much of the Islamic world, remains a significant avenue of terrorist travel, as well as a potential area of operations. Terrorist funding, either from drug trafficking or potentially from piracy, depends on easy and secure access to the Indian Ocean. The QDR expects that Indian naval, air, and police capabilities, in collaboration with the US presence in the Indian Ocean, will help turn the ocean into a governed space.

Finally, the emphasis on strategic airlift creates an opportunity for co-operation in disaster relief. Both the 2004 tsunami and the more recent Haitian earthquake relief efforts demonstrated the importance of military air and sea lift capabilities in natural disasters. United States Navy amphibious capabilities played a key role in 2004, and again in 2010. The Indian Navy also conducted operations in support of tsunami relief in 2004, and the addition of both the INS Jalashwa (the former USS Trenton) and the INS Vikramaditya should further enhance Indian amphibious and disaster relief capability. The establishment of an amphibious warfare hub in Andaman and Nicobar will also facilitate long term disaster relief cooperation.

All of these operations, and even the implicit assumption that India will act as a guarantor of the liberal international order, are dependent on a deeper assumption about India’s intentions. The QDR blithely—and arguably, given the weight placed on that assumption, recklessly—assumes that India wants to act as a guarantor of the international order, and that it will continue to want to act as such a guarantor for the foreseeable future. In short, the QDR assumes that India wants to play in the US game. Moreover, it assumes that India will gear its foreign policy and military force structure around the role of regional policeman. While this assumption might not seem extraordinary in the context of the last ten years of US-Indian relations, it would have seemed seriously questionable in 1990. The United States and India have had many foreign policy disagreements over the years, ranging from relations with Pakistan to the proper attitude towards China to support for various states and sub-state groups. While the Indian armed forces have diversified supplies, New Delhi still procures a considerable amount of equipment from Russia, even as relations between Moscow and Washington deteriorate. Finally, although differences over nuclear proliferation have eased over the last ten years, India and the United States still stand on different sides of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty chasm.

Thus, while the QDR confidently projects about India’s role in supporting the US-defined international order, it conveniently ignores what might become serious differences in foreign policy outlook. At some point and to some degree, India’s desire to restructure the international order (at least at a regional level) may come into conflict with the US desire for stability. This does not imply fault on the part of either country, but rather the simple recognition that different states view the world differently and seek different (if often compatible) ends. The QDR’s treatment of India on this point stands in contrast to its treatment of China. According to the QDR, China must choose between supporting and trying to revise the international order. India’s contribution, however, isn’t treated as a choice, but rather as an assumption.

In an important sense, the 2010 QDR “Europeanises” India. It assumes that India will, minor friction aside, act in the general interests of the political and economic order that the Atlantic powers have established, just as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and NATO have acted for the past several decades. This framework is unquestionably productive. It sets Indian foreign and military policy apart from either Pakistan or China by treating the former as a solution and the latter two as problems (even if India isn’t described as a solution to the particular problems posed by either China or Pakistan). It opens space for thinking seriously about the role that the Indian military could play in maintaining regional stability, and hints at both avenues for cooperation and a desired Indian force structure.

However, the program set forth in the QDR hinges on the assumptions that Indian and US interests will not diverge substantially, and that India is interested in playing the role that the US wants it to play. These assumptions would be problematic if they were associated with France, Germany, or Japan—nations which have had strong, decades-long security relationships with the United States. Friction inevitably develops, even in close alliances. Particularly for a document intended to set forth long-term strategy and procurement policy, the expectations of comity between Indian and American interests seem optimistic. This is not to say that tension will develop, or that either side is unprepared for the tasks that lie ahead. Rather, at least some note of caution would be wise, and well taken.
 

ajtr

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There were talks of sanctioning Reliance petroleum by USA on the issue of doing business with iran.This is the second time in less than 2 weeks india has USA's policies wrt to iran.An indirect signal from indian govt.-----you ignore and oppose us will will do the same.A partnership is 2-way street.

No U.S. word on Reliance's fuel sale to Iran: India minister

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The United States has not raised the issue of gasoline sales by Reliance Industries to Iran, but New Delhi has told the U.S. government that issues with Tehran should be settled by talks, not sanctions, India's junior oil minister said.

"The government of India has conveyed to the U.S. government that sanctions on Iran have proved to be counter-productive and that all differences with Iran should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations," Jitin Prasada told parliament on Tuesday.

The U.S. Senate in end-January approved legislation that would let President Barack Obama impose sanctions on Iran's gasoline suppliers and penalize some of Tehran's elite, a move aimed at pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear program.

Washington and Tehran are locked in a bitter dispute over the Iranian nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at producing atomic weapons and which Iran says is purely for civilian uses such as generating power.

Prasada said Reliance last supplied gasoline to Iran in April and May 2009.

Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, imports about 40 percent of its gasoline to meet domestic demand because it lacks refining capacity.
 

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