Friday, 17 February 2012

India to Step up Ties with Tehran; Unfazed by US Sanctions

Unfazed by US sanctions and Israel linking Tehran to the attack on an Israeli embassy car here, India is set to ramp up its energy and business ties with Iran, with a commerce ministry team heading to Tehran to explore fresh business opportunities.

The team is expected to go to Tehran later this month to discuss steps to expand India's trade with Iran, part of a larger strategy to pay for Iranian oil, said highly-placed sources.

Despite the US and European Union sanctions on Iran, India recently sealed a payment mechanism under which Indian companies will pay for 45 percent of their crude oil imports from Iran in rupees.

Not just oil, India is also stepping up the refurbishing of the Chabahar Port in Iran and a strategic railway link that will offer it direct access to Afghanistan and the energy-rich Central Asia.

And India has been buying military aircraft from countries other than the US, plus rejecting offers from those countries using US technology. The Indian Government is certainly not playing the US game.

Perhaps this is a reaction to their suspicions of US pre-attack knowledge regarding the Mumbai attacks that involved a DEA-CIA(?) linked individual - David Headley.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, February 17th, 2012.]

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