INDIA’S IRAN POLICY DURING THE MODI GOVERNMENT: THE CHALLENGES AHEAD

Authors

  • Saleem Ahmad Assistant Professor at Department of Political Science, School of Liberal Arts (SLA), Galgotias University, Greater Noida, india.
  • Sujaan S. Negi Dean ,School of Liberal Arts (SLA), Galgotias University, Greater Noida, india.

Keywords:

INDIA, IRAN, POLICY, MODI GOVERNMENT

Abstract

The Indian subcontinent borders Iran, which shared “a de facto common frontier in preindependence India with connections spans thousands of years” between the two ancient civilisations. The Persian influence particularly on “the languages like Urdu and Hindustani and the architecture from Lahore to Agra in Mughal period India are very strong, tangible remnants of those ties”. Even prior to that, in the 8th century, “the migration of the Zoroastrian people fleeing from persecution to western India”. They made India “the permanent home” to the world’s largest community known as the Parsis. The contemporary relationship between the two regional players marked by “continuous interactions in the fields of education, culture, commerce and energy, but also only periodic moments of cooperation that have not flourished to potential in long term thus far”. Shortly after Indian independence, India and Iran established formal foreign relations in 1950, but were not off to the best start.1 During the early decades of the Cold War, a non-aligned India supported the Soviet Union while Iran, under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, aligned with the United States. Despite that, leaders and ministers from both countries did exchange visits, beginning with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi’s tour of India in 1956. Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi also visited Iran and they received with honours. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, “the relations remained strained as Iran backed Pakistan against India, while India supported Iraq” during the Iran–Iraq war in the 1980s. Following the end of the Cold War, however, bilateral relations between India and Iran improved in the 1990s. The US, which has considered the Shi’a Iran an adversary ever since 1979, has continued to be “an important factor in the development or diminishing of India-Iranian relations”. Following the September 11, 2001, the three countries “found themselves against the ruling Taliban” in Afghanistan.

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Published

2021-09-03

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