| Welcome to Global Village Space

Friday, April 12, 2024

India’s Diplomatic Mission to Iran Amidst Red Sea Crisis

India's Foreign Minister Jaishankar undertakes crucial Iran visit amid Middle East turmoil, addressing Gaza conflict, Red Sea crisis, and regional tensions.

India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, is set to visit Iran to address pressing concerns in the Middle East. The visit, scheduled for January 14-15, will focus on discussions with Iranian leaders regarding the ongoing war in Gaza and the escalating situation in the Red Sea, where Houthi rebels from Yemen are targeting merchant ships.

Jaishankar plans to engage with Iranian officials to address global concerns, emphasizing the need for peace and stability in the Middle East. The two-day visit will include meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and a potential discussion with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to candidly address ongoing crises.

India’s Position

India traditionally supports a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict. While condemning Hamas’ initial attack on October 7, 2023, resulting in over 1,200 Israeli casualties, India has taken diplomatic measures. Last month, New Delhi voted in favor of a UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave.

The diplomatic efforts extend beyond bilateral discussions. In November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Raisi emphasized preventing escalation, ensuring humanitarian aid, and early restoration of peace during the BRICS summit.

Escalating Regional Tensions

Jaishankar’s visit comes in the wake of US-UK airstrikes on Houthi militias in Yemen, a response to Houthi attacks on merchant ships. These airstrikes, lacking UN Security Council authorization, have heightened tensions. The situation prompted a phone conversation between Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, discussing the evolving scenario in the Red Sea.

Earlier this month, India increased its military presence in the Arabian Sea to counter Houthi rebel attacks on vessels using the vital Red Sea and Gulf of Aden shipping lanes. The move follows an attack on MV Chem Pluto, a Japan-owned merchant ship with Indian crew, blamed on Iran. Tehran dismissed the allegations as baseless.

Read More: US-UK Strikes in Yemen Escalate Oil Prices and Global Trade Concerns

Apart from addressing immediate concerns, Jaishankar will discuss the North-South Transport Corridor during his visit. This corridor, passing through Iran’s Chabahar Port, involves moving freight among India, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia via sea, rail, and road.

The significance of the visit is highlighted by India’s strategic role in the region. Senior officials expect discussions on escalating conflicts in the Red Sea and the Israel-Hamas war. As India closely monitors the situation, the Indian Navy has deployed additional ships and surveillance aircraft in critical sea lanes, including the North and Central Arabian Sea.

Jaishankar’s decision to visit Tehran, especially amidst the crisis involving Houthi rebels, underscores the critical role India can potentially play in diffusing tensions in the Middle East. With a clear stance supporting the Palestinian cause and advocating a two-state solution, India aims to contribute to regional stability while navigating the complexities of the ongoing conflicts.