Iran under pressure

Civilisation 3000 records trade links forming between countries who are under pressure to regard each other as a threat, fervently hoping that these economic interests will enable them to resist such pressure.  

Indo-Iranian trade negotiations

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao visited Tehran in February and S.M. Krishna, India’s foreign minister, travelled to Tehran in May to discuss energy partnerships, bilateral co-operation and regional stability with Iran with Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s president. 

Early in July Iran’s business leaders and government officials arrived in India hoping to seal a bilateral trade deal with India that could double current trade between the two – now worth around $15bn a year. The delegation was offering Indian business investment opportunities in Iran’s energy, textiles, agriculture, automobiles, chemicals, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors. The proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline will be discussed.  

Good relations are also cultivated with the USA


Civilised words on one hand . . . 

“Iran is reaching out a friendly hand to create unity between two countries with great civilisations and bright historical backgrounds,” said Dr Hosseini, the Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, before signing a trade agreement. 

On the other, foreboding or threatening? 

The Financial Times cited one unnamed British official in Delhi asking ominously, “What good are energy projects and pipelines if Iran is in flames?” 

And a bribe – the routine inducement of a permanent seat on the Security Council


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On July 25th James Lamont reported that Nicholas Burns, a former US undersecretary of state said that New Delhi’s stance on Iran would be a test of its suitability for a bigger role at the UN. India wants a permanent seat on the Security Council. “We need India’s shoulder behind this wheel,” said Mr Burns. “The world, including China and Russia, will be tested. We can’t stop Iran just with nice words.”

Paul Ingram, director of the British American Information Council, has just returned from Iran where he met the President’s right hand man to discuss how to connect with the British Government. Paul was asked to assist their plans to hold four conferences next year:

1) A second one on global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation
2) On the tenth anniversary of occupation in the region (ie Afghanistan)
3) On counter-terrorism
4) On global security


BASIC will be most closely involved in the first, but will encourage NGOs and think-tanks to get involved with the others. Its informative and interesting paper on the involvement of Turkey and Brazil with Iran can be downloaded from the page opposite.

It concludes that the international community needs to look beyond punishment, toward strengthening the non-proliferation regime, a Middle East WMD free zone, and engagement in a regional strategic dialogue where Iran is recognized as regional power, stressing that to avoid military escalation, a political settlement will have to be found . . . 

The involvement of Brazil and Turkey could help Iran to build confidence with the wider international community and deliver the message that the NPT regime requires a focus on disarmament and universal membership as well as strengthened non-proliferation measures.


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