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India and Iran: Time to Act on Transit

Excerpt from op-ed published in Mint, March 03, 2015.

Chabahar, Flickr https://flic.kr/p/9AVm2s
Image Courtesy: Flickr (Creative commons)

Energy dominates any conversation on India’s interests in Iran. In the last two years, however, there is a second bilateral pillar that has taken centre stage—transit cooperation. The idea here is that we move our goods to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe through Iran, bypassing Pakistan. What sets this sector apart in Iran is the fact that, in an otherwise almost entirely sanctionable environment, it is slightly more easier to navigate.

There is a clear alignment of Indo-Iranian interests in this space.

Op-ed: Why We Can’t Take Afghanistan for Granted

Excerpt from op-ed published in the Business Standard, October 12, 2014.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on April 28, 2015.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on April 28, 2015. Image courtesy: PIB, Govt of India (CNR :67451 Photo ID :64772)

has a new president, albeit two months late. And even as the newly inaugurated president and his “chief executive officer” hash out the specifics of the country’s first peaceful political transition, outgoing president minced no words to convey who he thought were Afghanistan’s ‘true friends.’

“The Western countries and the United States of America came to Afghanistan for their personal goals. There are also countries who, without having personal agendas, are here for honest cooperation with Afghanistan’s government. One example is India.”

Read more here.

Pragati: When Iran Sanctions Bite

The article published in Pragati (September 29, 2014) breaks down the sanctions on Iran and traces their effects on India.

Image courtesy: Pragati

“The first problem was with respect to reducing imports and reconfiguring refineries…

The second concern was the often raised payment issue. Observing the increasing pressure on Iran, India had by mid-2011 stopped paying for oil imports through Iran’s central banks…

The third problem was regarding maritime (re)insurance. The EU embargo on Iranian oil in 2012 prohibited EU insurers and reinsurers from covering Iranian oil shipments. European insurance clubs handle a majority of the world’s tanker insurance (95 percent of the world’s tanker fleet).”