Iran nuclear deal: India will have support in Afghanistan against Taliban

The historic Iran nuclear deal has been watched keenly and with much interest. The deal would ideally mean lifting of sanctions against Iran and this will benefit India a great deal. India has a lot of positives as a result of this deal.

Iran used to be India's second largest supplier of crude but the sanctions imposed forced India to look towards Iraq, UAE and Kuwait. The first step in the aftermath of this deal is that Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals and Essar Oil are likely to begin import of oil from Iran this month. This deal also has a bearing on the security situation in Afghanistan.

Iran n-deal: India has many positives

The US as a result of this deal is likely to engage Iran more in Afghanistan and this goes down well for India. This would also mean that India and Iran engage more towards a stable Afghanistan.

India and Iran do not want the Taliban:

India and Iran have never been in favour of the Taliban in Afghanistan. However due to the hostility of the West towards Iran, the latter was unable to engage more constructively in Afghanistan. The nuclear deal would mean that the West would have no problems in Iran having a larger say in Afghanistan.

This goes down well for India as Iran is likely to have a bigger say in Afghanistan. India is expected to work around the hostile situation by engaging with Iran to ensure that stability returns to Afghanistan.

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The Afghanistan government feels that it is only Pakistan that could help in ensuring the stability of the country. The so-called deal between the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan had come under fire from various quarters. India in particular was upset about the deal as it broadly meant that both Afghanistan and Pakistan would treat India as the outsider. Former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai too had opposed this deal.

However if India and Iran would engage more in Afghanistan, it is likely to boost the confidence of the existing regime. Security experts say that any engagement by Iran in Afghanistan would not be opposed by the US now as a result of this deal and the lifting of sanctions. Broadly this would go down well for India as along with Iran it sees Taliban as the common enemy.

India will engage more with Iran:

Ahead of this deal being struck, India had already begun engaging more with Iran. Since the beginning of the year, there has been plenty of engagement with Iran. National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval and union minister Nitin Gadkari had visited Tehran. A visit by foreign secretary, S Jaishankar to Iran and also the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Iranina President, Rouhani at Ufa were all part of the increased engagement.

Iran had been India's second largest supplier of crude oil. However due to the sanctions against Iran, India was forced to rely on Kuwait, UAE, Iraq and also Saudi Arabia for supply of crude oil. With the deal through and the sanctions expected to go soon, India has already indicated that it would import oil from Iran as early as this month. Both Essar Oil and the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals have laid out plans to begin import of oil from Iran.

India would also look to benefit from a lower oil import bill. Iran would now be looking to double its crude oil exports with an expected 2 million barrels per day. This is likely to keep the global oil prices down for sometime at least.

India could gain access to the Afghan market:

The deal is expected to help India and Iran develop the Chabahar deep water port which is at a strategic location. It would help trade between India and Afghanistan as great deal as the port becomes a transit point between India, Iran and Afghanistan.
India has had troubles trading with Afghanistan as Pakistan has stood in the way.

Chabahar would ensure in bypassing Pakistan and this also provides for a safer route to enhance trade. Afghanistan would no longer have to access India through Attari and Wagah. The 200 kilometer long road which links Zaranj in Iran to Delaram in Afghanistan will boost trade. The Chabahar would ideally bring down the reliance on Pakistan and Afghanistan would now be able to trade economically and more importantly safely with India.

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