Why did Iran become so important to the Modi government amid tension with China?

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Iran means Land of Aryan. Aryavart is also a name of India. Iran was a Zoroastrian before becoming an Islamic country. But now there are only a few Parsis left. With the rise of Islam, the Zoroastrians were expelled from Iran. Then most of the Parsis either came to the state of Gujarat in India or went to western countries. Even when there were Parsis in Iran, there was a cultural connection with India and when the Islamic country was formed, there were deep ties.

Iran is a Shia Islamic country and India also has the highest number of Shia Muslims after Iran. If India had not been partitioned, that is, Pakistan would not have been formed, it would have bordered India with Iran. Pakistan and Iran are neighbors, but the relationship between the two is not very good.
India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar was on a visit to Iran on Tuesday. He met Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif. Iranian Foreign Minister has tweeted that a very positive thing has happened to the Indian Foreign Minister on many issues. Earlier on September 6, India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was in Iran and he met Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Aamir Hatami. What does it mean for two cabinet ministers of Modi government to visit Iran within four days?

Two ministers visit in a week

Rakesh Sood, who has been India’s ambassador to many countries, says that the arrival of two cabinet ministers of Modi government in Iran within four days can be seen in two ways. Says Rakesh Sood, “Rajnath Singh arrived in Tehran on his way back from Moscow and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar went to Iran before leaving for Moscow. Both had gone by Air Force aircraft. So do not go directly from Moscow to New Delhi or from New Delhi directly to Moscow. You had to stay somewhere in the middle. They both chose Tehran. Obviously, both could choose Dubai instead of Tehran. But choosing Tehran is not the only way to stop. Iran for India in today’s time Very important in many cases. “

Rakesh Sood says, “Iran, China, Russia, Pakistan and Turkey are seen coming together in the Middle East. China is also working on many big projects in Iran and Pakistan. Russia is also an important force in the Middle East against America. The line of Russia and China in the Middle East is no different. Pakistan, Turkey and Iran are also on this line. On the other hand, India is not getting very good news from Iran. India is still unable to land the Chabahar project in Iran that way. Apart from this, India is close to those countries in the Middle East, which are close to the US. For example, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “

At the Asma Jahangir Memorial Lecture organized by South Asia Democracy Watch on 26 August last month, Pakistan’s well-known defense expert Ayesha Siddiqua said that the world is turning and old alliances are breaking with the old system. Asma said that the relationship between Pakistan and America has changed horribly and this has had a direct impact on India.

Ayesha said, “Even Pakistan played an important role in the US-Taliban talks, but all the financial assistance from Pakistan to America has stopped. Pakistan joined the US alliance after 9/11. However, people said that Pakistan had joined the helplessness for financial help. In terms of keeping Osama bin-Laden and supporting the Taliban, Pakistan has nothing to say other than silence. Now China is the only option for Pakistan. Pakistan cannot expect anyone other than China at the time of crisis. America, Saudi Arabia and India have joined together in the changing new equation of world politics. In such a situation, Pakistan is now seen in the ranks of China, Russia and Iran. “

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said that Pakistan’s future lies with China.

New equations are formed in the Middle East

Ayesha Siddiqua said in this memorial lecture, “Iran and Pakistan are both part of China’s ambitious project Belt and Road Initiative. In such a situation, it is expected that there will be an increase in both the countries. Negotiations are underway to sign several major agreements between China and Iran. At one time both Iran and Pakistan have been American allies. A question is also arising that will Pakistan and Iran be able to benefit from the BRI? We can only wait to see it. In Pakistan, the fight between Shia and Sunni goes on like this. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia will not like the friendship of Iran and Pakistan. How will Pakistan strike a balance between Iran and Saudi? “

Rajnath Singh and S. Jaishankar’s tour to Tehran is also being seen in the mirror of the alliances formed by Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China and Turkey. India has never been friendly with China, Turkey and Pakistan but Russia has been a friend of India and has also had good relations with Iran. In such a situation, India’s concern is to not let relations with Iran and Russia deteriorate. Right now the army of India and China are face to face on the outskirts of Ladakh. The removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir is also a reason for the entire controversy. China, Pakistan, Turkey and even Iran openly opposed this move of India. Russia did not oppose India. But the concern is that if China manages to bring Pakistan along with Russia, it will be a big blow for India.

On the one hand, Iran and China are growing close, on the other hand, the Chabahar project that India wanted to reach in Iran is hanging on. In the Middle East countries, Iran and Turkey were openly exposed on the issue of Kashmir. In the midst of tension with China, it is very important for India to come with which countries. It is becoming increasingly difficult for India to compete with China in the Middle East. According to AEI China Global Investment Tracker, between 2005 and 2019, China invested $ 55 billion in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the Addata Research Lab, between 2004-2014, China gave $ 42.8 billion in financial assistance to these areas. China is the largest trading partner in many countries around it.

Iran’s growing influence

Iran is a major player in the Middle East and India’s influence is steadily decreasing there and things are progressing strongly in favor of China. A few days after the report of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement between China and Iran was leaked, Iran itself started moving the railway link for the Chabahar project. Earlier India was also involved in this. There is a plan to take this rail line from Chabahar in Iran to Zeranj province in Afghanistan. According to the leaked report, the project Iran is talking about with China is worth $ 400 billion.

In November last year, Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif told a group of women journalists of India that relations between India and Iran cannot be broken by immediate global reasons or political economic alliances. India has taken an independent stand against sanctions against Iran but we expect our friends not to bow down. You must have the ability to dismiss the pressure because the US keeps intimidating and India does not come under its pressure to buy oil from Iran. If you do not buy oil from me, we will not buy rice from you.

Iran felt that India was closer to Saddam Hussein than Iraq. However, India’s relations with Iraq were also good and for a long time, Iraq remained the largest oil supplier in India. India’s strong relations with Arab countries were established due to economic relations with the Gulf Co-Operation Council and management talents with Indian workers. Oil supply from Iran has never been encouraging according to India’s needs. The main reasons for this were the Islamic Revolution and the Iraq-Iran War and America.

India has also long hesitated to take the friendship to Iran to its end. After the end of the Cold War in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the world took a new turn. When India established relations with America, it always prevented India from coming close to Iran.

After the war with Iraq, Iran was engaged in strengthening its army. Since then Iran has wanted to build atomic bombs and started nuclear programs. The United States does not want Iran to become a nuclear power and increase its dominance in the Middle East. In such a situation, the US insisted that Iran should not have normal relations with the rest of the world.

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