India puts its national interests ahead of the Obama administration’s efforts to cripple Iran through tough sanctions.
New Delhi has to live in Central Asia; its policy is shaped by its own place on the map, and it won’t in this instance cut off its nose to spite its face to please Washington.
India knows more than a little about US arm twisting: it survived the economic snubbing that the US subjected it to, during the early Cold War, because it chose not to take sides along the US USSR divide. It chose the spirit of Bandung; it decided its young democracy would be better served through ‘non alignment’.
The US didn’t agree and did everything it could to make life hard for New Delhi. Today, we are far away from that memory, on one hand, Washington is cultivating India’s friendship. Nonetheless the White House does tend to forget that even the most closely favoured ally has needs of its own. Does it not recall that the Shah of Iran who owed his throne to a CIA coup, saw no reason not to defy the US, if it served its national interests.
A more recent incident says it all: Egypt is going to bring a group of US NGO representatives–a son of Obama’s cabinet minister is among them–to trial for interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs. Congress’ reaction came fast and swift, threatening a cut off of us1.3 billion in military and economic aid.
Cairo did not tremble a jot and a tiddle. In fact, a minister, a holdover from the disgraced Mubarak regime, threatened that should that happen, Egypt would move closer to Iran.
You get the idea!
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