News / Asia

India Treads Lightly Amid Accusations Against Iran

Police officers stand around an Israeli diplomat's car that was damaged in an explosion in New Delhi, India, February 14, 2012.
Police officers stand around an Israeli diplomat's car that was damaged in an explosion in New Delhi, India, February 14, 2012.

Indian police have yet to locate a suspect in a bombing attack on an Israeli vehicle that Israel blames on Iran. There are no easy options for India for getting tough with Iran.

Israel has made it very clear it believes Iran is responsible for the explosion that seriously wounded a defense attache's wife in the Indian capital.  And it is working hard, discreetly, to bring about diplomatic retribution.

India's influential daily, The Indian Express, reported Friday Israel is seeking New Delhi's support for a measure by the United Nations Security Council condemning the attack and censuring Iran.

India is downplaying public comments by senior Thai officials that a bombing in Bangkok was caused by a device identical to the magnet bomb attached to the Israeli vehicle here in Delhi.

Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat says that information is only attributable to the Bangkok police.  He says Indian investigators have not compared the explosives yet, and are not commenting.

India says it will not contemplate any action against Iran unless and until there is concrete evidence implicating Iran in this week's attack. Still, the unambiguous accusation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran was behind the attack is already creating concern among members of a massive trade delegation scheduled to head to Iran this month.

"This is unfortunate," said Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association. "This escalation will definitely adversely affect the business mood of the people. People feel afraid if something goes wrong. We are concerned with the escalation of tension."

India has refused to join Western economic sanctions aimed at discouraging Iran's nuclear program, which the United States and Israel are convinced is aimed at producing weapons of mass destruction. New Delhi says it will back U.N. sanctions, but not those of individual nations.

Trade considerations

India's decision to seek dramatically increased trade with Tehran has been seen by some Western observers as irritating and opportunistic. But Delhi-based international security analyst Uday Bhaskar says trade between rapidly growing India and Iran is an unavoidable reality.

"Iran is a major oil supplier, hydrocarbon supplier, for India," said Bhaskar. "There is a dependency which is impacting national interest directly. India would find it difficult to arrive at this black and white kind of resolution in terms of dealing with Iran. And unless we have a credible alternate supplier, for India to review this, would not be an easy proposition."

In fact, India has surpassed China to become Iran's biggest oil customer - obtaining more than 12 percent of its fuel from the Islamic Republic.

In a workaround of international sanctions, the two countries are looking at an arrangement that would permit India to purchase oil in its own currency, the rupee, deposited in an Indian bank account. The rate at which those rupees would pile up puts pressure on India to export even more of its products to Iran.

Analyst Bhaskar says the interdependency between the two countries is likely to keep bilateral diplomacy low-key if Iran is found to have a role in the attack.

"In the event that this is substantiated, I think India and Iran would have to do some quiet consultation on the subject," said Bhaskar.

Apart from economic concerns, India shares centuries of cultural ties with Iran - and perceives Iran as a crucial partner in stabilizing Afghanistan after the scheduled withdrawal of U.S.-led stabilization forces in 2014.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid