July 27, 2015

Iran nuclear deal may give India strategic edge over China: Duowei

India could end up an unlikely winner from the Iran nuclear deal to the detriment of China, says Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.
On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 — the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany — finally sealed the historic deal on Iran's nuclear program, signaling that the years of sanctions and diplomatic sanctions against Tehran were coming to an end.
According to Duowei, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf in particular will be the regions most immediately affected by the deal, though the impact will extend to Central Asia and beyond to Russia, India and China. Apart from Iran and its regional allies, the biggest beneficiary of the deal will likely be India, but only if New Delhi plays its cards right, Duowei said.
Citing Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Duowei claims that the nuclear deal and the thawing of relations between Tehran and Washington could benefit New Delhi's plans to enter Iran's energy market and boost ties with the Central Asia republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
India intends to play a bigger role in the region not just for security reasons but also so it can gain access to oil resources in the Caspian Sea, the report said. After the signing of the nuclear deal, Tehran recommended that New Delhi develop the port of Chabahar in southeastern Iran to provide India with a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia. This also helps Iran realize its dream linking up with Aghanistan and Tajikstan by creating a Tehran-Herat-Dushanbe axis, the report added.
Duowei notes that Chabahar can be regarded as India's reponse to China's development of the Gwadar Port in Pakistan, reflecting the mistrust and strategic competition between the two countries. If India can obtain a foothold in Central Asia it would give New Delhi a strategic edge over Beijing, which has placed a heavy emphasis on the region due to its ambitious "Belt and Road" initiative to boost connectivity and cooperation among countries in Eurasia.


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