India's Decision to Import Iran Oil a Slap on Our Face: US
India's decision to continue importing Iranian oil is a slap on the face of the United States, which is galvanising the international community to isolate Tehran, according to a former US diplomat who was Bush Administration's pointman on Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

"This is bitterly disappointing news for those of us who have championed a close relationship with India. And, it represents a real setback in the attempt by the last three American Presidents to establish a close and strategic partnership with successive Indian governments," former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns wrote in an op-ed in current-affairs magazine 'The Diplomat' today.

"India's decision to walk out of step with the international community on Iran isn't just a slap in the face for the US – it raises questions about its ability to lead," said Burns.

India, which relies on Iran for 12 per cent of its oil imports, has refused to scale it down.

Only recently, Burns had written an op-ed in The Boston Globe arguing that the US should commit to an ambitious, long-term strategic partnership with India. "I remain convinced of its value to both countries and to the new global balance of power being created in this century," he wrote.

"With its unhelpfulness on Iran and stonewalling on implementation of the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, however, the Indian government is now actively impeding the construction of the strategic relationship it says it wants with the United States," Burns said.

Presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush have met India more than halfway in offering concrete and highly visible commitments on issues India cares about, he said, adding unfortunately India has made no corresponding gesture in return for the big vision that Obama and Bush have offered.
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32/D-21
Feb 22, 2012
01:46 AM

Arun,

>> any thoughts on what would be your view of what is best in India's interest. And what would be a principled stand on this situation?

In my view India's current stand meets both those requirements at present, but the dynamics can change.

Anwaar, Dallas
31/D-136
Feb 21, 2012
09:33 PM

Amit Ji,
Noted; also the fact that you've introduced far too many debatable and contentious issues, and shifted the goalposts by a fair distance; a satisfactory response from my end would necessarily involve some time and effort. Let's abandon the debate for now. Regards.

Santosh John Samuel, Kochi
30/D-115
Feb 21, 2012
06:54 PM

It is said Obama knows India too well to take us seriously!!!! 

sandilya
Chennai, India
29/D-96
Feb 21, 2012
04:30 PM

Anwaar - any thoughts on what would be your view of what is best in India's interest. And what would be a principled stand on this situation?

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
28/D-95
Feb 21, 2012
04:25 PM

Amit,

Agree with your points.

Firstly, I am not sure what Burns says or not should matter so much to us. 

A lot of the reactions here smack of "we showed our independence to a superpower so it must be the right choice", or "show these powerful US guys we are not Pakistan - your client state", "or there must be parity - if you want us to listen to you always, you listen to us always, especially in relation to Pakistan", etc. In some sense it is about feeling good that may be we have arrived on the world stage because we could thumb our nose at a superpower. It is less about cold rational analysis of our interests and what is best for it? Partly because we still don't have a culture and ecosystem developed of cold rational analysis in terms of foreign affairs or knowing our "interest" other than parroting that "it is in our national interest - whatever that might be or mean". Not to mention our influence in Iran is probably close to 0, in encouraging them to mend their ways.

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
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