Expert: President Rouhani’s visit will boost Iran, India ties

New Delhi, Feb 14, IRNA - An Indian expert of the world affairs believes that the upcoming visit of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to India will give further push to the already flourishing strategic ties between the two countries.

In an exclusive interview with the Islamic Reublic News Agency (IRNA), Debalina Rahul Ghoshal, a seasoned analyst of the world nuclear and strategic issues, said that “the Iran visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi last year to sign the Chabahar Port Agreement was a turning point in the strategic relations between New Delhi and Tehran.'

She stressed that the upcoming India visit of President Rouhani will boost further the same.”

Advising New Delhi to resist the US pressure on its Iran policy, she said, “India is supposed to complete its project in Chabahar Port by the end of 2018. There is a view that the United States may pressurise India to stop its investments in Iran. But, I think India's decision would depend on how the world order will behave with Iran. At the moment, Europe may not side with the United States, China surely would not, and the same is with Russia. Amid this, India will find it difficult to side with the United States. Iran can become a huge market for India, an opportunity India cannot let go off.”

Rejecting the possibility of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the analyst said, “The Trump administration, I am sure, is aware of the fact that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also confirmed that Iran is complying with the deal. There is no need for the United States to come out of the deal. It would not only mean dishonoring the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but also mean that the United States would have no regards for the IAEA and its verdict.”

“The US disrespect for NPT and IAEA would be dangerous for the international security. These are global treaties and bodies and need to be respected. States are only becoming smarter and smarter. If today the United States does not respect the NPT and the IAEA, tomorrow the world may refuse to do so. Not allowing the states to get hold of the nuclear energy in a legal way will only push them to acquire it in an illegal way and that would be a threat to non-proliferation efforts.”

Supporting Iran’s rejection of the US demand to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, she said, “Renegotiating an entire deal that had taken years to fructify is not a cake walk. The US must realize this. It is not possible to suddenly renegotiate the deal. Yes, the US concerns can be dealt with in a separate dialogue process. Moreover, the issue of ballistic missiles was never a part of the Iranian nuclear deal. And hence, such an issue cannot be discussed under its purview. Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal and hence; there is little justification for the European countries to think of renegotiating the deal. Moreover, Europe will also see the economics of it. Iran is a big market.”

On the best possible way to defuse tensions between Iran and the US, Rahul Ghoshal said, “I think that would depend on how the world reacts to US move on Iran. So far, not many have supported the move. I think at the moment, a bilateral discussion between Iran and the United States can be a good option where Iran and the US discuss each other's apprehensions and concerns. Such talks in the past resulted in the success of the nuclear deal. I am hopeful that such talks in future can save the deal and ease the tensions between Washington and Tehran.”

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