Russia is trying to produce something out of the hat at next week’s meeting between P5+1 and Iran, which it will be hosting. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went to Tehran on Wednesday. He likely carried some fresh proposals. From Tehran he proceeded to Kabul to attend the conference there on Thursday (regarding Afghanistan’s future), for which US deputy secretary of state William Burns (former US ambassador to Russia) also arrived at the Afghan capital. Conceivably, Lavrov and Burns found time to exchange notes. Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi was also available at the Kabul conference.
Salehi told the media after meeting Lavrov in Tehran that he was optimistic about the Moscow round next week and expected the talks to be “constructive”. But the mainstream opinion continues to be that next week’s round is unlikely to produce a breakthrough.
The US president Barack Obama has no leeway to negotiate with Iran during the tricky election year. And US Congress is keeping an eagle’s eye to see that Obama doesn’t compromise. The Congressional pressure is unlikely to ease. The matrix runs like this: Obama is keen to ease tensions with Iran down lest oil price shot up annoying public opinion; but for easing tensions, he needs to negotiate a compromise, which he is unable to do despite Iran’s manifest interest to compromise.
The result is the hype on the US sanctions against Iran. History shows that sanctions never worked. But the hype helps the US administration to give the spin that its Iran policy is getting somewhere. An opinion piece by the well-known Middle East expert in the US Trita Parsi in The New York Times today analyses the US’ flawed Iran policy.
It becomes all the more important that India should take an unambiguous stance against the US’ sanctions on Iran. External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna should have spoken firmly and unequivocally on this matter, as countries such as Russia and China are doing. Lavrov didn’t mince words, while visiting Tehran.
The US officials are signaling that it is unthinkable that Washington would impose sanctions against China for not complying with the US’ Iran sanctions. So, why are we behaving like poodles having to account for our actions? Pray, what are these “international situations” that External Affairs Minister enigmatically talked compelling India to reduce import of Iranian crude oil and offset with more import from Saudi Arabia?
As for the much-touted Israeli Lobby that India doesn’t want to annoy, if that is the case, why don’t we ask the American jews to secure for India a permanent membership of the UN Security Council as quid pro quo on Iran? After all, we were bragging that we will never vacate the Security Council seat that we occupied last year for a 2-year term.
Again, how is it that the israeli Lobby in Washington is unable to get the US to tighten the screws on Turkey, which is giving hell to Israel? Turkey even disallowed Israel an entry into the NATO summit hall in Chicago, which Israel desperately wanted. The Israeli service chiefs are facing criminal charges in the Turkish courts. What is it the Jewish Lobby could do for easing the pain and humiliation that Rceep Erdogan’s government is showering on Israel for the past 2-3 years? Zilch.
More important, did it all affect the US-Turkey relationship? On the contrary, US-Turkey relationship is today at its strongest in the post-cold war era.
I sometimes get the feeling that our own people who have been “cultivated” by Israel in obscure ways are deliberately peddling this canard to frighten our ministers with the ludicrous thesis that it is thanks to Israel’s lobbying that the US is reaching out for partnership with India. What baloney! The US-India relationship is based on mutual interests. And India should have the self-confidence to comprehend the raison d’etre of the US-India relationship.
– June 14, 2012