How India should address emerging challenges in the Gulf

Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India May 21, 2019, 01.19 PM(IST) Written By: Jyotika Teckchandani

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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India needs the USA and Israel to outset the influence of China-Pakistan axis

The new government at the Centre, after May 23, will soon be called to address the emerging challenges in the Gulf. The Trump administration has tightened sanctions against Iran, moved its military naval ship from Cairo to the Gulf and kept its military base in Qatar and navy in the Arabian Sea on the high alert to meet any threatening contingencies from Iran. 

The USA has further withdrawn the sanction waiver to India, China and Turkey, which had allowed them to import the oil from Iran. 

This has prompted Iranian Foreign Minister to visit the capital of India, Turkey, China and Japan to elicit assurance from these countries to continue to import the Iranian oil despite the US withdrawal of sanction waiver. These countries are the biggest buyers of Iranian oıl and the sudden drop in the export of oil to these countries would adversely affect the already fragile economy of Iran. 

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz with a warning. If Iran is not allowed to sell its oil, ıt will not allow other countries in the region to sell their oils. This was followed by an attack on the UAE and Saudi oil tankers; both of them have accused Iran. As a result, a real war situation has emerged in the Gulf.  

Traditionally, India has played the role of the bystander in Gulf Conflicts; mostly appealing them to resolve the issue peacefully and kept equip distance with party in conflict-whether Iran-Iraq War or the cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. However this time India cannot remain a distant spectator to the emerging conflicts in the Gulf. In terms of investment, remittances, oil, gas, the flow of FDI, its diaspora, India has a greater stake in relations with Saudi-Arabia- UAE than Iran. 

Also, India needs the USA and Israel to outset the influence of China-Pakistan axis. Given this precarious situation, India must try hard first to resolve the issues amicably and work for the stability of the Gulf. However, if the diplomacy failed, India needs to closely align with the Saudi- UAE Axis against Iran. 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL) 

Jyotika Teckchandani

Jyotika Teckchandani teaches at Amity Institute of Social Sciences, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh. Her expertise includes Gender, International Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, Indian and West Asian Politics.