As a result of ideological driven BJP-RSS backed Delhi’s anti-Muslim massacre, ideology has once again overshadowed economic ties between Iran and India. Relations between the two have taken a hit as Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini, launched a scathing remark in relation to the Delhi communal violence.
In a tweet, Ayatollah Khomeini by using the hashtag of #IndianMuslimsInDanger said; “The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The government of India should confront extremist Hindus, their parties and stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam.”
The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam.#IndianMuslimslnDanger
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) March 5, 2020
On 2nd March, foreign minister of Iran, Jawad Zarif also lamented Delhi and said; “Iran condemns the wave of ‘organized violence’ against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India.
We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of all Indians and not let senseless thuggery prevail. The path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.” What triggered India is Zarif’s use of words in his tweet in condemnation of BJP’s policies towards Muslims.
Iran’s statement may appear to be on the humanitarian basis but it is ideologically driven as Iran had institutionalized Islam since the Islamic revolution and it is a chief proponent of the rights of the oppressed Muslims regardless of sectarian bias
The use of words as ‘organized violence’ came as a bolt from the blue for India. On 3rd March, India summoned Iranian ambassador to India– Ali Chegeni, and registered a very strong protest against Iran after FM Zarif’s statement in favor of Indian Muslims.
India took her traditional step and declared the communal violence against the Muslims as ‘an internal matter of India’ and tried to restrict everyone from doing criticism on her policies. The question is why we are observing a freefall in Iran and India relations and what strategic implications this development has on the entire region?
First, Iran’s statement may appear to be on the humanitarian basis but it is ideologically driven as Iran had institutionalized Islam since the Islamic revolution and it is a chief proponent of the rights of the oppressed Muslims regardless of sectarian bias.
This phenomenon can be empirically proved when we analyze Iran’s stance on Sunni majority regions such as Kashmir and Palestine. Secondly, these recent developments have also to do with geopolitics.
The author raised a question recently in Iran-India relations; that how did India betray Iran amid Soleimani’s assassination? India’s reaction towards his assassination was not only suspicious for Iran but also completely in line with US and Israeli interests, which Tehran did not like.
In reaction, FM Zarif while addressing to Indian journalists in Tehran even confessed that “India should have shown more backbone”. Thirdly, the driving forces behind India’s global pivot are Israel and United States.
The question is; if India will always side with the interests of her global partners such as Israel and USA, what will become of her regional vision, what lessons are there for Iran and what are its overall strategic implications for AFPAKIRANISTAN
In Iran’s threat perception, both of these states are enduring enemies. The author had declared after analyzing Indian reaction in the aftermath of Soleimani’s assassination that India in the long run will always compromise on her relations with Muslim Iran and will side with the interests of her more ideological and strong partners – Israel and US.
In May, 2019 for the first time in Iran-Indian economic partnership, India completely abandons Iranian oil imports abiding by US’s unilateral sanctions, which are not recognized by UN. Moreover, immediately after US’ assassination of Gen. Soleimani, the way Modi hosted President Trump with humongous rallies in support and pomp and show, Iran was keenly observing this phenomenon.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman ISSI, described the Pak-Iran relations as an enduring reality which can only be realised through robust economic and commercial cooperation on all levels.@pid_gov @ForeignOfficePk @IraninIslamabad #cooperation pic.twitter.com/3F8mbq6Zpv
— Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (@ISSIslamabad) February 11, 2020
The question is; if India will always side with the interests of her global partners such as Israel and USA, what will become of her regional vision, what lessons are there for Iran and what are its overall strategic implications for AF-PAK-IRANISTAN?
Secondly, Iran is central to India’s regional vision based on Chanakya’s political philosophy. Not only because Iran is the neighbor of her enemy– Pakistan, but also she capitalize on the notion that “Iran and Saudi Arabia divide” open up doors for diplomatic games and gains in the Islamic world.
This is why India has equally diversified her portfolio in between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as it anchors US-Israeli strategy of hybrid warfare against the Muslim world from eastern hemisphere. This can be empirically proved through historic Israeli support to India in wars against Pakistan and recently when she was caught red-handedly in February, 2019 against Pakistan in another conspiracy.
Secondly, the same pattern can be seen in Afghanistan where Indian footprints are aimed at reviving their dream of Greater India [from Bengal to Hindu-Kush] at the cost Muslim states which they are aiming to further divide on “Blood Borders”.
Moreover, it is of utmost importance for the Sunni world to shake hands with Iran, create a complex interdependence and does not isolate her to a point where she does not have any choice but to engage in relations with those states who are conspiring against the Sunni world.
Pak-Iran relations are showing clear signs of https://t.co/9QXq4Gctzp it because India has stopped importing oil from Iran,under US pressure?
— Javed Hafiz (@hafiz_javed) October 2, 2019
This is why, for Iran, amid US and EU sanctions [Economic Terrorism], India due to her large population is the only potent market left to sell her oil and gas. Is this unique development merely an accident? Additionally, it is not merely an accident that IP gas pipeline, which could have become part of the blueprint for AF-PAK-IRANISTAN was deliberately foiled by US.
While Pakistan was completely engaged through unconventional warfare by US, India used good offices of Oman and other states to gain access to Chabahar and eventually made Iran give permission to Afghanistan to use Chabahar for transit purposes
Thirdly, the Chabahar port, which was meant to be central to Indian strategic interests in West Asia, despite obtaining an exclusive waiver from the US on Chabahar Port project, India has not been able to elevate progress there, and made Iranians disappointed.
This loophole should be capitalized by Pakistan to engage Iran economically and keep the wealth between the AF-PAK-IRANISTAN regions. In Islamic threat perception, the Chabahar Port project was conceptualized in 2003 at the peak of US-led war on [Islam] terrorism when Bush’s administration launched the project for New Middle East for Israel.
What Iraq played the role for US-Israeli axis in MENA for hybrid warfare, Afghanistan [being the vortex point of South Asia] was meant to serve the same objective for Indo-US strategy to de-nuclearize Pakistan and balkanize Af-Pak region to wage their final war against Iran, as revealed by Gen. Wesley Clarke in 2007.
While Pakistan was completely engaged through unconventional warfare by US, India used good offices of Oman and other states to gain access to Chabahar and eventually made Iran give permission to Afghanistan to use Chabahar for transit purposes.
What followed was the controlled chaos by the Indo-US-Israeli axis at the heart of Asia – Afghanistan. Why did this happen? Answer: Because the Muslim world itself is witnessing a deep divide with Saudi Arabia [GCC] on one side and Turkey and Iran on the other, while Pakistan keeps shifting and balancing between the two based on its own self-interests.
For the dream of AF-PAK-IRANISTAN initially and then towards the revival of true Pan-Islamism by engaging Turkey from western hemisphere, these Muslim states will have to come to common ground regardless of all international political consequences to establish a framework to eliminate western sponsored terrorism from their lands.
Fourthly, India, while adopts the same US-Israeli model for diplomacy in the Muslim world keeps engaging and carefully maintains Iran-Saudi Arabia divide in her geopolitical outlook. India has always carefully maneuvered her foreign policy while engaging with Iran to gain access to Central Asia and encircle Pakistan; India is now also being seen as cozying up with the Saudi Arabia.
When Pakistan on the behest of Saudi Arabia snubbed KL Summit, veteran diplomat M. Bhadrakumar, India’s former ambassador to Turkey proudly expressed said; “We have walked right into the center-stage of issues with the Muslim world by aligning ourselves with the US and Israel.
We have now allowed the entry of Saudi Arabia in all our strategic sectors [essential for Greater Israel project et al]. So, in the eyes of the Muslim world, especially in the eyes of Iran and Turkey, there is a perceived tilt.” When will the Muslim world learn the rules of diplomatic engagements?
Because if Pakistan brokers peace in between Iran and Saudi Arabia and establish a precedent free from ethno-sectarian creeds, this will checkmate US-Israeli hybrid warfare in the western hemisphere and collective Indo-US-Israeli hybrid warfare on the Islamic arcs of crises [“Blood Borders” as coined by U.S. Col. Ralph Peters].
Afghan Peace Deal may not appear to be resulting in immediate fruits for Afghan Taliban, Pakistan and Iran but as the consequences of deal, the international community has considered “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” as a reality
Having said that, there are still doors from where AF-PAK-IRANISTAN can operate to establish her order in the region. Thus, the need for Muslim integration to get rid of the mess foreign powers have created is essential for survival. And the survival is only possible if this tripartite use defiance, deterrence and determination against the Indo-US-Israeli axis to restore lost sovereignties of Muslim states in Asia.
Lastly, Afghan Peace Deal may not appear to be resulting in immediate fruits for Afghan Taliban, Pakistan and Iran but as the consequences of deal, the international community has considered “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” as a reality to some extent which cannot be denied as they control 75-80 percent of Afghanistan.
And without Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the idea of AF-PAK-IRANISTAN cannot become successful. But its possibilities are likely as it emerged soon after Soleimani’s assassination when Afghan Taliban targeted US warplanes inside Afghanistan and took revenge for Iran.
Currently, US Indo-Pacific and Central Asian strategies are great hurdles for the unification of this Islamic tripartite, the silent war between the intelligence agencies of all the players in Afghanistan will determine the fate of this tripartite; either they will be able to restore their own order or will end up becoming vassal states for Indo-US-Israeli axis.
Thus, the need to eliminate western led chaos can be done through the tripartite of AF-PAK-IRANISTAN. The regional blueprint for this tripartite will be addressed in detail by author in the next part. However, the outline of the blueprint has following main elements in it;
- Common Ideology
- Information Warfare
- Finance and Revival of Wealth
- Playing Between Integration and Great Power Political Economy
- War on Terrorism and Muslim Peacekeeping Force
Sabtain Ahmed Dar is pursuing his M Phil in International Relations from Department of Political Science, Punjab University. His area of study is Israeli geopolitics and he has written a thesis titled ‘The Clash of Islam and Zionism: The final clash before the End of History’. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.