Iran and South Asia
Contemporary developments in Iran are bound to have effects in South Asia. In the light of US President Trump’s design to isolate Iran from the rest of the world , India’s sponsoring of the Chabahar port in south-east Iran can take the shine off from the much publicised strategic transit between India, Iran and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan, much to China’s delight. Trump’s abolition of the waiver to India from the Ist of May on oil purchase from Iran has already raised oil prices in India. It would be naïve to write off Iran in the face of US pressure. A fifth of the world’s oil consumed each day passes through the Strait, a shipping choke point that separates the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Analysts point out that Iran can close the Strait any moment by mining it or by using anti-ship missiles and the oil supply of the whole world would be choked (The Iran Imbroglio by Govind Bhattacharjee, The Statesman, 18th19th une,2019). Instead of throttling Iran economically, a wiser way would have been to facilitate the return of liberalism to Iran that would run counter to religious extremism. In fact, Iran is most suited for such a change if it comes in the future for it has a rich cultural tradition, geographical advantage and youthful population.
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