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Why US warns of sanctions over India-Iran deal

Published : Sunday, 19 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 306

Why US warns of sanctions over India-Iran deal

Why US warns of sanctions over India-Iran deal

A mutual agreement between two states to ensure economic and commercial progress is called a treaty. The Arabic word Aqud means treaty. The English synonym of the treaty is contract. The English word contract comes from the Latin word contractum. Its literal meaning is amalgamation. A legal bond is created through a contract. A bilateral agreement between any two countries is a process of compromise. The agreement of India-Iran Chabahar Port was signed on May 13, 2024. Since that day the treaty has become one of the hot topics of discussion, criticism, review, and research worldwide. India has signed 9 agreements with Iran including Chabahar port, trade, investment, and defense. Issues such as energy, communication, cultural relations, and medical assistance have gained importance. The two countries have also agreed to simplify the visa policy.

In 2015, a memorandum of understanding was signed between India and Iran for cooperation on Chabahar port. Later in 2016, the agreement was implemented during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran. Through the renewal of the India-Iran agreement, India has been using Chabahars Shahid Behesti port since 2015. As a result of the new agreement, India got the management responsibility of the port for 10 years. This treaty will automatically renew upon expiry. The treaty legitimized Indias dominance of waterway transport through Afghanistan, Iran, and Russia. India plans to link this port with the International North-South Transport Corridor.

So that India can easily connect with Russia through the corridor. Chabahar port has emerged as an alternative route for India to reach Afghanistan and West Asia bypassing Pakistan. On the other hand, Chabahar port is very important for India due to its geographical location. The nearest port to Chabahar is 550 nautical miles from Kandala in Gujarat. The distance to Mumbai is 786 nautical miles. This seaport is going to be the heart of India in terms of increasing connectivity between India, West Asia, and Eurasia and reducing transportation costs and time.

However, the India-Iran Chabahar agreement is negative in Americas view. Iran is not an ally of America. Irans diplomacy is shrouded in US sanctions. America is not taking the India-Iran Chabahar agreement in a good way. In this case, the rigors of US sanctions may prevail in India. America has already indicated in this matter. Regarding the India-Iran agreement, US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedanta Patel said in a tone of caution, "If anyone thinks of establishing business relations with Iran, should be careful about future sanctions."

The hostile relationship between Iran and America is visible. The White House has imposed sanctions on Iran on various issues. Russia is the first in the list of sanctions imposed by the US and Iran is the second. After Vedanta Patels comments on the Chabahar treaty, extensive political analysis has begun in the international arena. According to Indias External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the warning of US sanctions over the Chabahar treaty only shows the narrow-mindedness of America. On the other hand, Irans ambassador Iraj Elahi believes that the US won impose sanctions on India due to the Chabahar treaty. He said that "Indias importance at present is so great that America cannot ignore them".

America imposes sanctions on that country which is displeased in the eye of America. Sanctions imposed by the US government include a ban on arms-related exports/ prohibition on dual technology applicable to both military and civilian/ any import and export controls/ restriction on economic assistance and economic embargo/ cancellation of GSP benefits etc. No country wants to fall under US sanctions. Will the Chabahar treaty crack the India-US relationship? Will the White House impose sanctions on India? When will the end of this thinking in the world diplomatic circles?

Will America impose sanctions or Its just a warning? Most of the Indian remittance fighters are American expatriates. India has a strong diplomatic relationship with America for a long time. That relationship is not about to break for the present India-Iran treaty. Just a bilateral agreement can never be the main reason for US sanctions. Various agreements are signed between different organizations and countries due to the need of time same is the case in India. But the agreement with Iran, why should be subjected to US sanctions? Moreover, India-Iran relations are not new. Independent India and Iran established diplomatic relations on 15 March 1950. The relationship between ancient Persia and ancient India is for one millennium.

The friendly relations between India and Iran are visible in many ways. The two countries have significant trade relations. For example, India imports crude oil from Iran and exports diesel to Iran. India has welcomed Irans inclusion as an observer state in the SAARC regional organization. An increasing number of Iranian students are enrolling in Indian universities. In the 1990s, India and Iran jointly supported a coalition in Afghanistan against the Taliban regime. The two countries jointly signed a defence cooperation treaty in December 2002. India had objected to the US reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2010. At that time America didn warn India about US sanctions. Why is the India-Iran Chabahar port treaty so important to the US administration?

At the dawn of civilization, the leaders of different communities or clans used to make agreements among themselves through compromise. All those covenants which were conditional were strictly adhered to by both tribes. Following this, the Treaty of Hudaybiya was signed between the Muslims and the Kafirs in 628 AD to avoid mutual conflict in keeping with the advancing civilization. The Magna Carta was signed on 15 June 1215 between King John and the various feudal lords of England to reduce the sole power of a king. The Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and Britain on September 3, 1783, for the independence of the United States. The Bretton Woods Agreement was signed in 1944 to form the IBRD and the IMF. The Paris peace treaty was signed on February 10, 1947, to end World War II. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed on 4 April 1949 to establish the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The Montreal Protocol was signed on September 16, 1987, to protect the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The Schengen Agreement was signed on June 14, 1985, for visa-free travel between 26 countries. Bangladesh-India Friendship Treaty was signed on March 19, 1972, for lasting peace. The SALT-1 Treaty was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union on May 26, 1972, to limit anti-ballistic missile systems. The SALT-II treaty was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union on June 18, 1979, to further limit the range of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. On July 31, 1991, the START-I Treaty was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union to limit strategic arms. The Oslo Accords were signed between Israel and the PLO on September 13, 1993, to grant mutual recognition. A peace treaty was signed between Jordan and Israel on October 26, 1994, ending the 46-year war.

The Gangas Water Sharing Agreement was signed between Bangladesh and India on December 12, 1996, to ensure a fair share of the Ganges water. The Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was signed between the United States and India on October 10, 2008, to procure civil nuclear technology from the United States to India. Also, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed on September 24, 1996, to ban nuclear test explosions worldwide. The Outer Space Treaty was signed on January 27, 1967, to prevent the deployment of nuclear weapons in outer space and to cooperate in peaceful space exploration.

Agreements have been made in different countries and are still being made in different countries. But the outcome of the India-Iran Chabahar agreement is the US sanctions? If the number of countries on the list of embargoes continues to increase, it will be seen that the United States will eventually become a completely friendless country.  
The writer is a teacher, Cantonment Board High School Shahid Salahuddin Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail

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