Upon being invited by PM Modi, Iran’s Chief Executive President Hassan Rouhani has arrived to India for a three-day long visit which is significant for both nations; but more importantly, it is a remarkable display of India’s diplomatic ability to balance out interests with countries that hold rivalries among each other.
While India is busy with the ongoing dins of massive banking fraud and domestic cacophony, the importance of Rouhani’s visit to India must not be undermined. The diplomatic gesture is a trajectory of bilateral ties over diplomatic, economic and geostrategic growth between India and Iran. The relationships between both countries root back to ancient times when strong economic and trade relations were developed. However, with geopolitical compulsions and ambitions, ties between India and Iran had caught were pretty much stagnant, if not fraught – and Iranian Chief’s three-day trip has the potent to help revive the ancient ties.
After being officially welcomed with a ceremonial welcome at New Delhi, the leader of Islamic majority nation Iran headed for a meeting with PM Modi, with expectations of multiple agreements. Ahead of meeting, Iran has expressed the willingness to share its vast oil and natural gas resources with India. President Rouhani also offered to simplify visa norms to strengthen the people-to-people relations between the two countries. During the meeting, the Iranian Chief also emphasised on the importance of the Chabahar port being jointly built in south eastern Iran, saying it will open the transit route for India to Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asian countries as well as Europe.
Beyond economic and fuel trade, Modi must focus on mitigating multiple challenges to bolster a relationship on a deeper level, because it holds the key to strategic game in Afghanistan, central Asia and beyond including two airbases in Tajikistan. And the trip is undoubtedly the display of New Delhi’s ability to balance competing interests in the Middle East as well as Iran, Israel, US and Russia all at once. Perhaps, for India, galvanising ties with Iran will be yet another step towards becoming a major global diplomatic and economic superpower.