Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in India's 2014 general elections, despite his hardline nationalist image, was viewed as a localised phenomenon. But two years later, voters across the world from Europe to Philippines seem to be tilting towards leaders with the same nationalist tag.
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Despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action having been in effect since January 2016, the promised business opportunities for Iran seem to have eluded them, as U.S. led economic sanctions still hold firm. With Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit in May, there is ample scope to redouble the India-Iran partnership for the strategic interest of both parties.
A month after visiting Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Modi will visit Iran on 22 May. India's careful balancing of relations with competing parties in West Asia has let it remain a friend to all. But to play a role commensurate with its global vision, India must work on becoming more than a friend and instead be an indispensable partner to countries in the region.
Since the end of the cold war, India has deepened its engagement with Israel while continuing to support the Palestinian cause. India’s position does not emerge out of a vacuum. The country has had many geopolitical and moral considerations to take into account before determining its stance.
After decades of passivity, India is beginning to assert itself in the maritime arena. There is a whiff of salt in the usually 'sea-blind' corridors of Delhi, where the Modi government clearly sees the linkage between the possession of maritime wherewithal, both civilian and military, and the furthering of national prosperity, through ever-increasing trade.
As Iran emerges from three decade of economic sanctions, it has embarked on a quest to reunite with its traditional trade partners like India. Both countries have much to give and take as they invigorate trade ties and explore new possibilities.
The talking points for Prime Minister Modi's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia will include the obvious: oil, diaspora and economic engagement. What remains to be seen is how both countries differing relations with Iran and Pakistan might affect the dialogue.
With a cessation of hostilities been brokered by Russia and the United States, the conflict in Syria has entered a tense pause. India has had a bystander attitude to the conflict in Syria. However, with the truce expected to be short, does India have the incentive or the option to depart from its current position, and deepen its engagement in Syria?
Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil producers are trying to cap oil production to support prices. Such distortions are unlikely to work. India should be more concerned about the long term rise in oil prices due to falling investment in exploration and production – and should protect itself by acquiring oil and gas assets to cover its energy needs.
At the recent counter-terrorism conference in Jaipur, a star-studded galaxy of policy makers, security analysts and law enforcement officials debated on tackling the Daesh threat. Some of the most positive steps to counter the terror propaganda came from South East Asia and India’s neighbourhood