February 20, 2011

BECOME?:

US and Iran could become strategic allies – with India's help: Tighter sanctions and military threats haven't swayed Iran over its nuclear program. What the West really needs is genuine rapprochement – the kind that India is especially suited to facilitate. (Neil Padukone, February 20, 2011, CS Monitor)

ran’s geography, petro-power, and Islamist credentials inevitably empower Tehran. America would only benefit if this influence aligned with its own interests. Engaging Iran also opens up its 77-million-strong population to foreign trade and contact after decades of sanctions, strengthening civil society. A lack of engagement, however, leaves the field open for competitors like China to fill the gap. [...]

[I]ndia and Iran share cultural ties that go back millennia, and strategic interests and economics remain strong points of confluence. Both seek an alternative to the Pakistan-backed Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as a new transport line to Central Asia. In 2008, India-Iran trade reached $30 billion, considering third-country intermediaries. In 2009, Iran became the second-largest supplier of crude oil to India, while Indian firms seek to develop Iran’s gas fields, with investments of more than $11 billion over the coming years.


America and Iran are de facto allies already, though neither can admit it politically for now. After all, the first half of the WoT was little more than a matter of liberating the Shi'a from the Sunni.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2011 7:54 AM
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