Click here for the link to the story:
The lowdown: India and Iran had made a deal to run a pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan (India would pay a transit fee to Pakistan who would also get access to oil from the same pipeline).
Well, the US offered a sweeter deal to India to stab Iran in the back: Vote against Iran in the UN security council and we’ll offer to work with you to build nuclear energy plants. India took the new deal from the US and put off the Iran pipeline crying out about the price of oil and reservations about Pakistan’s control of the pipeline (they knew all along this before they made the deal the pipeline was not going the other way around the globe) and also voted against Iran in the UN in the last two years.
Well – India’s energy needs are huge since it is growing rapidly. And at this time it can’t afford to wait decades when it has nuclear power plants. Also India’s parliament shot down the deal with the US. So India decided to go kiss and make up with Iran.
The State Department’s Sean McCormack said Monday in Washington that the United States would “counsel against” the pipeline plan.
“Given where Iran is in the international system, being under sanctions, and given its actions within the international system, is now really the time to conclude a pipline deal with the Iranian government?” he said.
However, insinuations from the United States that India should turn its back on Tehran or use its leverage to pressure Iran into abandoning its alleged nuclear ambitions have not been welcomed by policymakers.
“India and Iran are ancient civilizations whose relations span centuries,” India’s Foreign Ministry said last week. “Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral relations.”
For India, good relations with Iran are important for at least three reasons. India needs energy and Iran is the second largest supplier of oil to India, after Saudi Arabia, and a potential source of natural gas in the future; it wields influence in Afghanistan, which India increasingly considers critical to regional stability; and it commands loyalty from India’s substantial community of Shi’ite Muslims (after Iran and Pakistan the third highest population of Shi’ite is in India).
Iran and India understand what the warmongering Bush administration does not – that it is trade that brings growth, prosperity and peace to a nation – not wars, threats or voodoo economics like “economic stimulus packages”. This is why India is the number one fastest growing major economy in the world, with a GDP growth rate of 9.4% for the fiscal year 2006–2007.