- Drift in India and U. S. relations in recent past.
2. Both India and U.S. now freely conceding that their interest are diverging.
3. There are enough instances of their diverging interest. Some of these are given below:
4. Policy decisions by President Donald Trump to walk out of the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran.
5. The U.S. Congress’s CAATSA law sanctioning Iran and Russia have set up inevitable conflict.
6. Trump’s administration sanctions against those continuing to engage with Iran and Russia limits India’s options on energy security and defence procurement.
7. The U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, recently told India to “revive” its relationship with Iran.
8. The U.S. tough policy on trade tariffs, applied to ally and adversary alike, including India.
9. Now the last week’s postponement of ‘2+2 dialogue’ by the U. S. had denied the governments a chance to gather together the fraying bilateral ties.
10. India’s reaction:
- The government has taken a policy turn away from the pro-U.S. tilt.
- During his recent speech at Shangri-La Dialogue, PM Modi invoked the long-lapsed phase “ strategic autonomy”, set at rest any doubt that there is a reset in his foreign policy.
- The government reached out to Chinese and Russian presidents in informal summits and invited the Irarian president to Delhi.
- India promised to raise oil imports from Iran this year.
- Commitment to greater engagement with Chahabar port projects and oilfields in Iran.
- Negotiating a $ 5.5 billion deal with Russia for S-400 Triumf missile systems.
- India’s engagement with these countries will trigger U.S. sanctions unless the two countries reach a compromise.
11. The more trouble area in their relationship is diminishing political will to address these issues.
12. Way ahead:
- It is imperative that the postponement 2+2 dialogue between the two nations be quickly rescheduled.
- India must now decide how best to deal with U.S. sanctions.