India looking to benefit from Iran deal

Indian PM Narendra Modi is once again breaking down old barriers in foreign policy, this time with Iran. An Indian national security advisor described the accord that was reached with Iran and the P5+1 powers as the “best deal available.” India has been cautiously sending various ministers to Iran for months now, including its national security advisor, transportation minister and foreign secretary, and Narendra Modi and President Hassan Rouhani met briefly for talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Ufa, Russia two weeks ago.

Indian cooperation with Iran likely hinges on the enormous access to energy that Iran provides, considering that just a few years ago before the sanctions, some 17% of Indian oil imports were from Iran. This additionally opens up another can of worms with the long-dormant Iran-Pakistan pipeline which was supposedly crushed by an offer from Saudi Arabia to dissuade the Pakistani government from participating in the project. Indeed, there has been talk of an Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline to more closely tie together the two countries’ economies.

However, India has been courting multiple options for its energy needs. While no one thinks of the TAPI as a short-term alternative to India’s energy problems, the SAGE pipeline (or South Asia Gas Enterprises consortium project) also seeks to provide gas from Oman and Iran to India. With sanctions relief expected in roughly six months, according to the latest statements by US Secretary of State John Kerry, India is moving fast to secure its position as Iran’s customer.

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News Briefs:

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