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India and the Gulf region

Mains-GS2- International Relations

India cannot afford to take sides in United States-Iran tensions.

What has happened recently?

1. The tensions between the United States and Iran are at a peak after the killing of the head of Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran by US-drone attack.

2. This event was followed by retaliatory missile attacks by Iran on United States bases in Iraq.

3. It had escalated the situations in the Gulf region area. However, the chances of war have become thin after de-escalation by both countries.

How have power blocks been evolving?

1. Iran and the USA have received the support of various countries across the region as well as the world.

2. Iran has regional allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon while the US has allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia in the region.

3. Russia and China have already criticized the US drone attack as a violation of international norms and supported Iran

4. China remains Iran’s biggest oil market, an arms supplier and a top trade partner. Iran and Russia share similar interests in Syria.

5. Russia, China, and Iran have come together for a trilateral naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman. So, such developments are leading to the formation of power blocks.

Why should India not take a side?

1. India mainly imports oil from the Gulf region. There are two major blocks of the countries in this region led by Iran and Saudi Arabia respectively.

2. Saudi Arabia block is supported by the United States of America. So, taking the sides of either of the countries can hurt relations with other countries.

3. India and the United States have become good partners presently to counter the Chinese dominance in the South-Asian region.

4. India has a vast diaspora in Iran as well as the Gulf region. India also has a substantial Shia population too with sympathy for Iran.

Source- Indian Express