Thursday, September 20, 2007

There Goes the Service Call-Center

India's Long-Established Ties With Iran Straining Alliance With U.S.

Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, September 20, 2007; Page A15

NEW DELHI, Sept. 19 -- India's long-standing ties with Iran appear to be threatening the beleaguered nuclear energy deal between Washington and New Delhi and, more broadly, their growing strategic alliance.

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"India has very friendly relations with Iran. It will continue to do so. India's friendship will not come in the way of good relations with any other country," he said.

Two weeks ago, Antony informed Parliament that the Indian navy was training five Iranian sailors in its facilities. Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently said that Iran had "every right to pursue its nuclear program for peaceful purposes" and that India favors a "noninterventionist policy in Iran."

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What America needs--and needs badly--are friends to mediate its standoff with Iran. India is uniquely positioned both politically and geographically to be that friend.

A welcome to the discussions (or lack thereof) by Bush would be more appropriate than a threat. But American politics have come lately to operate more in the service of national parties than national interest.


* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Middle East, check out Opinion-Columns.com