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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More