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Chabahar Port No Longer A Top Priority For Modi-Government As India, Iran Drift Apart: OpEd

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India’s relations with Iran had started to soar long before Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had criticized India for its handling of Delhi riots, a move which invoked sharp reactions from New Delhi.

Why China, Finland Are Proving Big Obstacle For Chabahar Port Development?

There were plenty of warning signals that showed both the nations were drifting apart because of their foreign and domestic compulsions and now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The drift further received impetus when New Delhi disallowed flights from Iran. The decision surprised Iranians who are reeling under the coronavirus pandemic amidst crippling US sanctions. However, the decision was canceled as India permitted Iran’s Mahan Air to fly stranded Indians from the Islamic Republic and take back Iranians stranded in Delhi. So far India is yet to offer any aid to Iran.

Why Bilateral Relations Between India And Iran Have Suddenly Deteriorated?

Iran’s long-standing ambition to become a parallel power center and provide an assertive Islamic counterpoint to Saudia Arabia and its influence in the Middle East has impacted the region’s power equation.

This ambition has been hurt largely due to the coronavirus pandemic and US sanctions which Iran has time and again asked the Trump administration to lift and in the process has also sought India’s help considering India’s clout in Washington. Iran also has held a grouse against New Delhi for its alleged failure to stand up to the US.

How Para SF Commandos Neutralized Five Terrorists & Sacrificed Their Lives in Kashmir

All these reasons and many more have raised doubts about India’s foreign policy investments in Iran and particularly in Chabahar Port. The big question is will India’s wish to have an enduring route to Afghanistan and Central Asia by sidestepping Pakistan survive the recent changes of time? Although India’s Commerce Ministry has eased rules to speed up the project, it continues to be carried at its own pace.

India’s anxieties about its foreign policy to sidestep Pakistan and rebuild ties with Iran through investing in Chabahar have been exacerbated after the United States decided to sign a peace deal with Afghanistan to end a nineteen years of war and fulfill one of Trumps electoral promise before his next election.

Why Kashmiri Hindus Never Retaliated Against The Muslims Of Kashmir?

India’s deep-rooted fears about the Taliban, a Pakistan proxy are not completely unfounded given the fact that the peace accord was signed without keeping India’s interest in mind and ever since the deal was inked, the Taliban went on an offensive capturing one city after another and have threatened India’s interest in Afghanistan.

The recent attack on a Sikh Gurudwara, which the EurAsian Times reported, killed over 25 people further merits India’s case even though the ISIS claimed the responsibility. The Taliban with the tacit support of Pakistan may not even permit India access through Afghanistan highways which India built into Central Asia.

Taliban Suspends Peace Deal With Afghan Government After Ghani Refuses To Release Top Commanders

There is a strong sentiment that had General Qassem Suleimani been alive, the peace deal with the Taliban may not have happened as Suleimani had been an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s use of terror as state-policy.

In an earlier interview with an Iranian news agency – Suleimani had said Iran had warned countries not to allow their borders for creating problems for their neighbours and anyone who is using this as a state policy is seeking to disintegrate the other country.

Afghan Forces Detain 19 Terrorists Behind Sikh Gurdwara Attacks; Is There A Pakistani Connection?

Pakistan is said to have rejoiced on the news of Suleimani’s assassination and soon after his death, Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Syyed Muhammad Husseini revived an old proposal called golden ring to bring together Iran, Pakistan, China, Turkey and Russia.

Husseini’s proposed idea was not well received back in New Delhi as it tried to link Chabahar port with Gwadar port in Pakistan that is being funded by China with experts suggesting that it was a tacit abandonment of the Chabahar centered trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan.

If India Is Following the Israel Model in Kashmir, Pakistan Must Follow The Iranian Model – Pak Writer

The reason behind such a move, as many believe is because of China’s flexing of its financial power as it promised to invest more than $250 billion in Iran’s infrastructure. Iran’s principal detractor and foe in the region – Saudi Arabia will surely for a change welcome Husseini’s proposal as it considered India’s investment in Chabahar detrimental to its foreign interest as it would have allowed Iran to spread its influence.

How Special Forces Of India, MARCOS & Para SF Compete Against US Navy SEALs?

Saudi think tank has always felt India’s interests are best served within the Gulf region and not with Iran as it provides India with oil and gives employment to millions of Indians.

India Set To Acquire Lethal Drones That Killed Top Iranian General – Qassem Soleimani

General Suleimani was a key supporter of India and a nightmare for US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s designs for Afghanistan as he helped Shiite militia to fight the Islamic State in order to provide them leverage in negotiations with the US and helped India to look after its interest in Afghanistan by providing critical intelligence.

Originally Penned By Sanjay Kapoor. Edited By Syed Zaki Hassan

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India Bets Big On Nikki Haley To Emerge As Vice Presidential Candidate Under Trump

Nikki Haley has echoed some of the same arguments Donald Trump has made on national topics such as cancel culture, defunding police forces and statue removal, although the tone and frequency between Trump and Haley differ dramatically.  

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India has pinned hopes on Nikki Haley to become the US Vice President (VP) should Donald Trump get re-elected this November. Haley, a first-generation Indian American, is expected to strengthen Indo-American relation and also attract a lot of voters including women and minorities.

According to the reports, there is speculation that Trump might switch out Vice-President Mike Pence for Nikki Haley as his running mate in the hopes of boosting his lagging approval numbers among the broader electorate.

Despite resigning as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has been active in politics. She has been fundraising for Republican congressional candidates as well as in the Senate and gubernatorial arena.

She has set up a non-profit organization to boost her policy priorities and has continued to pen editorials on foreign policy. And Hailey has retained a small, tightly knit orbit of advisers.

The former governor of South Carolina, Haley is one of the people who left the Trump Administration on good terms. She has even promised to campaign for the President for his re-election bid.

Haley has echoed some of the same arguments Donald Trump has made on national topics such as cancel culture, defunding police forces and statue removal, although the tone and frequency between Trump and Haley differ dramatically.

According to experts at EurAsian Times, Haley’s recent moves can be seen as a carefully executed plan to stay involved in key Republican policy circles and the national discourse. Haley has fundraised for almost a dozen Republican Senate candidates, many of them in tough re-election races, and has been a special guest at Republican Governors Association (RGA) events.

While Haley has dismissed reports about her running for VP, her being an influential person of colour could help Trump win constituencies he is currently losing.

India pinning hopes on Nikki Haley

The US Presidential elections are a spectacle observed globally and India would be hoping Trump wins and Haley gets elected as the VP. Haley enjoys nationwide popularity amongst Indian-Americans and her election as VP could lead to stronger ties between Washington and New Delhi.

She has natural links to India with her parents having emigrated to the US in the 1960s from Punjab. Haley has often pointed out that India is an example of a free government and recently even applauded New Delhi’s decision to ban 59 Chinese applications and for standing up to China.

With an Indian-American at the helm of affairs, New Delhi would see it as an opportunity to get closer to Washington. It could lead to India benefitting in the areas of trade, defence and investment and would be a huge blow to neighbours China and Pakistan.

US Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in November and will be contested between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. While Biden’s re-election does not mean that India and the United States will have weak relations, having Trump in the White House and Haley as VP would definitely lead to stronger Indo-American ties.

Armaan Srivastava. Views Personal

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Americas

Russian T-14 Armata Tanks Now On Sale; Hopes To Challenge US’ M1 Abrams

The T-14 is part of the Armata’s heavily tracked standardized platform, which serves as the basis to develop the main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles.

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Russia’s T-14 Armata tank will be up for sale from 2021. This was announced by Denis Manturov – Industry and Trade Minister of Russia. He said that they are already receiving requests for the deadly T-14 Armata tanks from several foreign customers.

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

The T-14 is part of the Armata’s heavily tracked standardized platform, which serves as the basis to develop the main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles. It has fully digitized equipment, an unmanned turret and an isolated armoured capsule for the crew.

“Russian producers are ready to offer potential buyers both air defence systems, such as the S-300 and the S-400 and advanced aircraft and helicopters,” explained Dmitry Shugayev, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation.

“We are preparing the MiG-35 light fighter for sale and are promoting the latest T-14 ‘Armata’ tank,” he added.

The Armata T-14 was first demonstrated during the Victory Day Parade in May 2015 in Moscow. The actual production of the tanks was delayed. The first nine T-14 Armatas were originally planned to be handed over to the Russian Ground Forces (RGF) in 2018. This date then got pushed to 2019 and then to 2020.

Russia hopes that the T-14 Armata tank will give a tough competition to America’s M1 Abrams that destroyed thirty-seven of the Soviet-designed T-72s during the 1991 Gulf War.

T-72s remain Russia’s primary battle tank, supplemented by turbine-engine T-80s and four hundred more advanced T-90s. According to Sébastien Roblin, an expert on security and militarywhile Russia may finally have a 125-millimetre sabot round that can threaten Western main battle tanks at the range, only its handful of new T-14s tank are capable of actually using it.

Experts claim that the 2A82 gun could be retrofitted to numerous older T-90s and T-72s so far appear not to have materialized.

Despite Russia’s defence spending, the Russian military has continued with the production of the new tank. The production is overseen by Rostec Corporation, the Moscow conglomerate that specializes in consolidating strategically important companies in Russia’s defence sector.

It has undergone field testing in Syria. Although the extent of testing and the results are still unclear, a Russian media outlet suggested that “one Armata was completely destroyed.” There’s no confirmation on that but it might not look good to its buyers.

“It [the T-14 Armata tank] is expensive because it is still undergoing extra trials and modernization after the defence ministry requested additional technical solutions in order to begin serial supplies starting from the next year under the existing contract,” said Manturov in April this year.

He further said that next year, when serial supplies of these tanks to the defence ministry are launched and an export certificate is obtained, they will begin to work with foreign clients. “Preliminarily, bearing in mind that we cannot provide all the documentation to our foreign clients. We do have preliminary orders,” he added.

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Americas

US-China Tensions: US Wants India To ‘Match Its Weight By Actions’ In The South China Sea – Experts

Tensions between the US and China increased when the US deployed two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea with a clear message to Beijing that it doesn’t welcome China’s belligerence in the region.

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Amid inflating tension between the US and China, the US administration is keen that India should play a vital role in the South China Sea and match its weight by actions.

Kulbhushan Jadhav Will Not Be Hanged; Could Be Swapped With India: BBC Report

Recently, the US deployed two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea with a clear message to Beijing that it doesn’t welcome China’s belligerence with its neighbours and increasing the regional tensions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry, in response, accused the US of deliberately sending its ships to the South China Sea so that it can demonstrate its strength and accused the US of trying to create a rift between the regional countries.

China Fighting India With ‘Sticks & Stones’ Cheaper, But Confronting The US Can Bankrupt China: Experts

This is not the first time that the US and China have been engaged in muscle-flexing in the region. Experts say that the situation is slightly different this time as the coronavirus epidemic has drastically increased tension between the two nations.

The South China Sea which lies between Indonesia and Vietnam is spread over about 3.5 million square kilometers. China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have claims over the waters which is believed to be high on natural resources.

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

After the vicious India-China border dispute, there have been talks that India could play an active role in the South China Sea. India considers the South China Sea as a neutral place and believes that this neutrality should be maintained as these waters do not belong to any particular country.

Experts believe that India has come close to the US due to degenerating ties with China, but it is not correct to assume that India will play a very big role in the South China Sea. Experts say that – the US views India as a massive regional force and wants New Delhi to challenge the Chinese aggressively, something the Indian government is not too interested in.

Russian T-14 Armata Tanks Now On Sale; Hopes To Challenge US’ M1 Abrams

Experts recall that when Obama came to India in 2015, New Delhi said that it was committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and Beijing was quick to denounce the Indian statement.

After that, India never directly mentioned the issue by taking the name of China. On various occasions, India has talked about China’s expansionism but without naming it directly, which clearly suggests that New Delhi does not want to offend Beijing.

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

Recently as EurAsian Times reported, India permitted Australia to join the annual trilateral Malabar naval exercise involving India-Japan-USA. With Australia joining in, this could cement the QUAD alliance which Beijing considers as an anti-China grouping.

The decision to allow Australia to be a part of exercise comes at the heels of Chinese hostility in Galwan Valley, South China Sea (SCS) and the Strait of Taiwan. According to experts, the addition of Australia could re-activate the Quadrilateral Alliance (QUAD) between Australia, India, Japan and the US, which New Delhi had been avoiding so far.

OpED By Nitin J Ticku. Views Personal

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