Bharat Rakshak Forum Announcement

Hello Everyone,

A warm welcome back to the Bharat Rakshak Forum.

Important Notice: Due to a corruption in the BR forum database we regret to announce that data records relating to some of our registered users have been lost. We estimate approx. 500 user details are deleted.

To ease the process of recreating the user IDs we request members that have previously posted on the BR forums to recognise and identify their posts, once the posts are identified please contact the BRF moderator team by emailing BRF Mod Team with your post details.

The mod team will be able to update your username, email etc. so that the user history can be maintained.

Unfortunately for members that have never posted or have had all their posts deleted i.e. users that have 0 posts, we will be unable to recreate your account hence we request that you re-register again.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding.

Regards,
Seetal

Iran News and Discussions

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
sukhish
BRFite
Posts: 154
Joined: 10 Jun 2011 03:37

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sukhish » 24 May 2016 22:30

the port deal has been going on for several years, even during the UPA regime. don't go overboard with this deal. also look into the details
it is just an MOU and not even an agreement ? India is still following US diktat on lot of issues, including you favorite PM modi. no wonder he is visiting
there every now and then. without following US diktat India won't get into NSG, ask modi if we can really withstand that. again false bravado at best.

sukhish
BRFite
Posts: 154
Joined: 10 Jun 2011 03:37

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sukhish » 24 May 2016 22:32



there is one issue I see, and that is the route won't be straight line from chabahar to Gujarat. there is pakistan exclusive economic zone which is in between.

member_23370
BRFite
Posts: 1104
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_23370 » 24 May 2016 22:35

sukhish wrote:the port deal has been going on for several years, even during the UPA regime. don't go overboard with this deal. also look into the details
it is just an MOU and not even an agreement ? India is still following US diktat on lot of issues, including you favorite PM modi. no wonder he is visiting
there every now and then. without following US diktat India won't get into NSG, ask modi if we can really withstand that. again false bravado at best.


Modi unlike mickey mouse singh is doing whats best for India. Short term need both oil and access to central asia and afghanistan, long term NSG, P-6/7/8 membership and the rest.

Chandragupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3173
Joined: 07 Dec 2008 15:26
Location: Kingdom of My Fair Lady

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Chandragupta » 24 May 2016 22:47

Agnimitra wrote:Modi's sucking up to Iran may be needed to undo the damage MMS did with his servility to US diktat, backstabbing Iran. In the medium term, we need to keep Iran and Pak apart. In the long term, some of the Arabs will be more reliable allies and cultural cousins, and Iran will be the major enemy. The urheimat of the Ahuras can never be one with the bosom of the Devas, unless it is completely subjugated and cleansed.


Major enemy to India?

Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2932
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 24 May 2016 23:23

India had to stave China off to sign Chabahar agreement with Iran

Only last month, a Chinese consortium visited the Chabahar free trade zone and expressed interest in developing the port and also building an industrial town there. The head of the Chinese consortium which visited Chabahar was quoted as having said that Chinese companies were eager to invest in the strategically located port.

salaam
BRFite
Posts: 164
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby salaam » 24 May 2016 23:50

sukhish wrote:there is one issue I see, and that is the route won't be straight line from chabahar to Gujarat. there is pakistan exclusive economic zone which is in between.


You are confusing Exclusive Economic Zone (extends for 200 nautical miles) with Territorial Waters (extends for 12 nautical miles).

Even in Territorial Waters, foreign ships (both military and civilian) are allowed innocent passage.

member_23370
BRFite
Posts: 1104
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_23370 » 25 May 2016 00:06

You are talking about pakis, so IN will be ready with subs and surface ships.

Cosmo_R
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3171
Joined: 24 Apr 2010 01:24

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Cosmo_R » 25 May 2016 04:24

"To Iranians, India appears to be as ideal a partner as they can hope for at the moment.

'It is one of the fastest growing countries and economies in the world at the moment, and we have no political problems, no dispute with them at all,” Saeed Laylaz, an Iranian political analyst and auto-industry executive, tells Fortune. "That situation is very rare at the moment in the world."'

http://fortune.com/2016/05/24/narendra- ... ghanistan/

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10119
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Gagan » 25 May 2016 04:55

The question about EEZ has been answered by Salaam.
Just for information, pakistan's EEZ

Image

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10119
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Gagan » 25 May 2016 04:59

Also the proposed Oman-India undersea pipeline, with Iran joining in. Note the correlation to Pakistan's earlier EEZ, these do not however account for the Extended Continental Shelf (in blue in the map above 50,000 sq km)
Image

Image

Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2932
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 25 May 2016 05:19

Preferential trade pact with Iran in a year

New Delhi, May 24: India and Iran have agreed to conclude within a year the preferential trade agreement (PTA), which is expected to boost bilateral trade and give a fillip to sagging exports.
"A preferential trade agreement with Iran will benefit Indian exports as tariffs in general are higher in Iran," Ajay Sahai, director-general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said.

"We can expect a 25-50 per cent cut on MFN (most favoured nation) duty, but it will be a reciprocal gesture though our offer list will have products of our export interest and vice-versa."

The joint statement issued after the conclusion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Islamic nation said, "Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Modi agreed to strengthen the longstanding trade ties between the two countries by, inter alia, stepping up the momentum of economic engagement through the early conclusion of a PTA, preferably within a year."

The two trading partners plan to reduce or eliminate duties on select products to boost trade and investments.

"The new sectors such as auto components, various types of steel, pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery that have made inroads into Iran during the sanction period can leverage further on tariff advantage gained through the PTA with Iran," Sahai said.

Analysts said the lifting of international sanctions on Iran provided an opportunity for the early conclusion of the pact, which should encompass trade, investment and services.

Agnimitra
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5147
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 25 May 2016 19:55


Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2932
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 26 May 2016 05:53

A balanced article

Chabahar and beyond

The Chabahar port idea was first conceived in 2003 but failed to take off thanks to a combination of policy inertia in India and the imposition of sanctions on Iran by the US, which closed the doors on the country. Strange as it might seem, the deal has now been made possible by tacit support from the same US which is keen on counterbalancing growing Chinese influence in the Central Asian region.

Clearly, for India, geo-political and strategic stakes are as important as the economic opportunity that will open up from development of the port. There is also an ambitious plan to develop a free trade zone area surrounding the port where Indian companies can invest in plants to produce fertilisers and petrochemicals. While the potential clearly exists, the challenge will be in attracting investment in a volatile region especially given the unhappy experience of Indian companies in the past.

With all the focus on Chabahar, what’s gone almost unnoticed is the lack of forward movement on India’s plans to develop the Farzad-B gas field, estimated to hold as much as 21 trillion cubic feet of gas. India has been pushing Iran for ONGC Videsh to develop the field and transport gas back into India. For its part, Iran is seeking to revive the on-land pipeline project through Pakistan — the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline — that has been in the works for a decade now and which failed to take off due to the political tensions in the region. India would prefer to take the liquefied natural gas (LNG) route or a sub-sea pipeline that will bypass Pakistan. The LNG project was discussed many years ago but the sanctions ensured that Iran would not be able to build the liquefaction plants since the technology was available only with the West. The challenge for Indian diplomacy now is to persuade Iran to give up the IPI pipeline idea and agree for one of the other two options.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 20794
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 26 May 2016 08:30

India commits huge investment in Chabahar - PTI
India will invest billions of dollars in setting up industries — ranging from aluminium smelter to urea plants — in Iran’s Chabahar free trade zone after it signed a pact to operate a strategic port on the Persian Gulf nation’s southern coast.

The inking of commercial contract to build and run the strategic port of Chabahar will help India gain a foothold in Iran and win access to Afghanistan, Russia and Europe, thus circumventing Pakistan, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Tehran.

“The distance between Kandla and the Chabahar port is less than the distance between New Delhi and Mumbai, and so what this agreement does is to enable us quick movement of goods first to Iran and then onwards to Afghanistan and Russia through a new rail and road link,” he explained.

“Over Rs. 1 lakh crore investment can happen in Chabahar free trade zone,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Sunday on a two-day visit seeking to further cement Indo-Iranian ties and explore avenues to bolster trade in a big way in the wake of lifting of sanctions against Iran.

Iran has cheap natural gas and power that Indian firms are keen to tap to build a 0.5-million tonne aluminium smelter plant as well as urea manufacturing units, Mr. Gadkari said

“We spend Rs. 45,000 crore annually on urea subsidy, and if we can manufacture it in the Chabahar free trade zone and move it through the port to Kandla and onward to hinterland, we can save that amount,” he said.

Mr. Gadkari said Nalco will set up the aluminium smelter while private and co-operative fertiliser firms are keen to build urea plants provided they get gas at less than $2 per mmBtu.

Railway PSU IRCON will build a rail line at Chabahar to move goods right up to Afghanistan, he said.

Mr. Gadkari said India Ports Global Pvt., a joint venture of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the Kandla Port Trust, will invest $85 million in developing two container berths with a length of 640 metres and three multi cargo berths.

The Indian consortium has signed the port pact with Aria Banader Iranian.

“The contract is for 10 years and can be extended. We will take 18 months to complete phase one of the construction,” he said, adding that first two years of the contract are grace period where India doesn’t have to guarantee any cargo.

sukhish
BRFite
Posts: 154
Joined: 10 Jun 2011 03:37

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sukhish » 26 May 2016 22:21

right now there is no agreement between India and Iran, it is only an MOU. because of uncle sam's pressure, the project will be very slow to move. anyways it took 12 years just to sign an MOU, GOD knows how much time it would take implement the whole thing ?

arshyam
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2545
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arshyam » 27 May 2016 00:18

^^ Sounds like you know - why don't you take a stab at it? It took 12 years to get here, not because of unkil's pressure, but because of the pusillanimity of our UPA sarkaars. When Hillary coughed, we cut back our oil imports from Iran, and on top of it, had to replace that crude from the open market, and also reconfigure our refineries to process non-Iranian crude. Unkil didn't compensate for these charges, neither did our govt ask - just meekly nodded and complied. Where then is the question of moving ahead with Chahbahar? Mickey Mouse Singh, indeed.

sukhish
BRFite
Posts: 154
Joined: 10 Jun 2011 03:37

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sukhish » 27 May 2016 01:56

seems like you know a lot about NDA sarkar, agreement was signed because the international sanctions were lifted about 6 months ago. this agreement could have been signed last year as well. also how come only MOU and no agreement ? same thing with UAE another MOU. sometime it s better to get into the details then just trust the blind advertisement machine of this sarkar.

RoyG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4932
Joined: 10 Aug 2009 05:10

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RoyG » 27 May 2016 02:44

Agnimitra wrote:
Chandragupta wrote:Major enemy to India?

viewtopic.php?p=1682515#p1682515

viewtopic.php?p=2016772#p2016772


Mitraji,

These Persians are more colonized than we are. They bent over backwards as soon as the Muslims crossed their borders and adopted Arab culture en masse. Moreover, their Ayotallah has to claim he is a descendant of Syed (Arab) which is signified by black topi. It's not enough that they have to doggy style in the direction of the lingam at the heart of Arab lands.

Arjun
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4114
Joined: 21 Oct 2008 01:52

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Arjun » 27 May 2016 10:17

Why Chabahar deal is a rebellion against history

The muddy truck chugged into the city of Astrakhan, close to where the great Volga river empties into the Caspian Sea, on September 1, 2014, unnoticed by every one but a handful of freight-handling agents from India. There was no particular reason anyone should have paid attention to the vehicle, carrying nothing but an empty container tagged with a GPS unit.

For those who had followed its journey, though, it was a historic moment: for the first time in a century, cargo from India had made its way across Asia by land, all the way to the threshold of Europe.

Few in India have fully grasped the radical ambition that underlies Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to sign on to the $ 500 million project to transform the small Iranian port of Chabahar into a hub for Indian business.


The deal, signed in Tehran this week, will see India financing the construction of a $ 85 million port, building aluminium and urea plants, and underwriting the construction of a railway line to link it to Iran’s network. It is, for India, far more than a geostrategic gambit — it is, in fact, a revolt against history.

***

Last year, Modi spoke of creating a “vast network of physical and digital connectivity that extends from Eurasia’s northern corner to Asia’s southern shore”. It isn’t just imagination — but now that the ink has dried on the Chabahar agreement, the hard work has to begin, and India’s record on that front isn’t quite as good as on dreaming.

The idea of the Chabahar hub is a small cog in what is known as the International North-South Trade Corridor — a giant strategic project that rivals China’s better-known One Belt, One Road project, which runs East to West. The Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India, which carried out the 2014 dry run to Astrakhan from Mumbai via Chabahar, estimated that the corridor would slash freight costs to Russia by some 30%, and take just under half as long as the current sea journey through St Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland.

India’s ongoing negotiations with the Eurasian Economic Union, made up of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, could help India expand trade and investment opportunities through the region. The Astrakhan study also got a truck from Chabahar to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, in 23 days, showing it could potentially rival the existing routes used by most Indian businesses to the region, involving moving cargo on China’s rail system, via Singapore or Hong Kong.

The land trade routes would also ease business with Central Asia’s energy-rich economies. India is the world’s fourth-largest energy consumer, and access to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan’s gargantuan gas reserves would meet its future needs. India already has small export openings in the region, selling pharmaceuticals and information technology, but the land route will offer new opportunities for the construction industry and heavy manufacturing.

From the 1600s to the 1750s, Astrakhan — one of the few outposts open for foreign traders dealing with imperial Russia — had an established Indian community, made up of some 200 businessmen, labourers and hangers-on. The traders formed part of a constellation of Sindhi and Marwari traders whose interests spanned from Kandahar in Afghanistan to Tabriz and Isfahan in Iran, and Bukhara in Uzbekistan — backed by sophisticated credit networks that were, in turn, underpinned by the backbone of caste and kinship.

The historian Stephen F Dale’s superb work, Indian Merchants and Eurasian Trade, 1600-1750, shows many of these people had assimilated into their Russian environment, often marrying local women — indeed, records show the existence of a Ramdas Dzhasuev from Multan and a Talaram Alimchandov from Sindh.

Inside of a century, however, these networks were to be levelled by two great developments — the destruction of Indian manufacturing by the industrial revolution, and the inability of the overland routes across Central Asia to compete with the steamship.

Put simply, the Chabahar project — the port, the rail network, and the road systems it would tap into — would give India dramatic access to economic opportunities in regions it has been cut off from for centuries. For years now, Indian governments have eyed the opportunities Chabahar offers — but have failed to capitalise on the potential.


***

Iran first realised the need for a deep water port distant from the fraught Persian Gulf during its war with Iraq, and hired Indian contractors to begin work on it in the 1990s.

Then, in 2003, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee signed on to a deal with Iran to develop the port. This time, the considerations were part strategic. Pakistan obdurately resisted allowing Indian supplies to Afghanistan, to the point of disallowing food aid to transit through Karachi. India responded by building a road from Zaranj on the Afghanistan-Iran border to Delaram on the Khash river, giving itself access to Kabul from the southwest — but it still needed a port to send supplies. Chabahar fit the bill.

In 2004, an Indian consortium that included the Hinduja-backed Ashok Leyland Project Services, entered into an agreement with Tehran to develop Chabahar. However, even as the Delaram-Zaranj road was built, the port deal stalled — and ultimately sank, after sanctions were imposed on Iran amidst revelations on its nuclear programme.

Now, India finally seems back in the game — but history shows the country’s record on moving to realise plans drawn up on paper isn’t that great. The Kaladan multimodal transport project, which was supposed to link the Northeastern states to Myanmar’s Sittwe port, was supposed to have been operational by 2013 — but is in fact likely to take years more to be completed. Meanwhile, the cost has ballooned from the Rs 535 crore estimated when it was announced in 2008 to Rs 2,904 crore.

It will take sustained commitment from successive governments to turn the possibilities that have opened up for India into realities. Iran, and the world, aren’t going to be waiting for India to act on its dreams.

nvishal
BRFite
Posts: 568
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:03

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby nvishal » 27 May 2016 15:38

BANDAR ABBAS, May 27 (MNA) – Iran-India joint naval drill is currently underway on the waters of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and northern Indian Ocean, Rear Admiral Hossein Azad said Friday.

India with Ganga (F22) and Trikand (F51) frigates as well as a helicopter, and Iran with two destroyers including Jamaran and Alvand, and Tonb logistical support Ship are participating in the drill. Nearly 600 seasoned personnel of Iranian Navy and 400 staff from the Indian Navy are currently holding the naval drill on the outbound channel of the Strait of Hormuz and the northern part of the Indian Ocean to the strategic port of Jask.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14709
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 27 May 2016 17:26

schinnas wrote:Remember - Iran needs India as much as India needs Iran. India is the fastest growing energy market in Asia. If India fully goes into the Sunni camp for its energy needs, it will be a big downer for Iran economically. Besides, Iran would want to grow its ports and become a transit hub which Chabhahar port offers. China by investing in CPEC is working against interests of Iran on this count. Finally, no country, especially a proud one like Iran would not want to become a munna to Cheen.

Iran needs India as much as India needs Iran if not more. We dont need to suck up, except to drive home a message of sincerity. MMS govt did mess up our Iran relations.


we have sunnis and shias with the sunnis dominating and dining off easy saudi money with saudi fundamentalist trickery included.

but both are trouble making, self aware vote banks with the shias being a shade more amenable.

Never forget that both are islamic with their so called kings having ruled over major parts of India and have been bitten by the same keeda of having lorded it over the Hindus.

we are also de risking our energy requirements by second sourcing from with two nearby mutually hostile, competing sources and also unfortunately, allowing both sunni and shia influences to play over our vulnerable and restive muslim populations.

We are also the only large market strong enough, if push came to shove and due supreme national interests, to politely tell the US to go jump, if they slapped a new set of sanctions on iran. Every one is aware of this.

Iran can easily operate chabahar port without our help after it's completed. It will still remain the route of choice to the central asian markets from this part of the world, iran willing and iran controlled. Iran invariably turns very nasty when it holds the advantage in any situation and especially when it deals with the likes of SDRE Indians.

their desperate quest for nuke power is related to their megalomaniac civilizational tendencies. we have to watch our retired nuke people like hawks to ensure that no one succumbs to the lure of cold hard iranian cash and seriously jeopardizes our international standing for non proliferation

the chinese got off to a very early start while we were still foolishly getting diverted debating some silly form of sickularism instead of concentrating on our supreme national interests. Major powers find it easy to divert our national attention and then control the narrative thru the TV channels. They all have plenty of sepoys in situ.

All of them now dread the power and influence of the Indian right wing via the SM, hence the massive efforts to eliminate it. If the commies or the congis ever came back to power again, they would shut down the SM in a heart beat by legislating stringent laws.

Image

China and pakis have other routes bypassing iran. CPEC has marginal advantages for iran


An Overview of Central Asian Markets on the Silk Road Economic Belt


Central Asian countries (CACs), consisting of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, are not yet key export markets or investment destinations for Hong Kong companies, but they are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor. This is very much integral to the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), which is aimed at deepening and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, finance, transport and communication. The national development strategies of the five CACs all share common ground with the SREB or the land-based component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) being driven by China. As a "super-connector", Hong Kong is ready to deliver game-changing solutions for the 60-plus countries along the Belt and Road, including China's immediate neighbours in Central Asia.

Central Asia : A Vibrant yet Challenging Region

Best known for its trans-Asian commerce, via the ancient Silk Road, harsh geography (a lack of ocean access, an arid or steppe climate and mountainous landscapes) and sparse population are common images of Central Asia. Thanks largely to the region's vast amounts of natural resources, which were underexploited during the Soviet era, the past decade's high commodity prices have boosted the performance of the Central Asian economy. Combined, the five CACs – namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – make Central Asia a US$339-billion, 68 million-strong economy, with varying levels of development and purchasing power.

Picture: Map of Central Asia

Benefiting from abundant mineral resources such as petroleum, natural gas, antimony, aluminium, gold, silver, coal and uranium, the energy sector has a key role to play in the economic development of the five CACs. Aside from having rich mineral deposits, the agricultural economy is also an important economic driver, with cotton, meat, tobacco, wool and grapes being major agricultural exports.

Given the abundance of rich and varied resources, economic growth in the five CACs has recently been curbed by nosediving oil and commodity prices. This, together with the spillover from sanctions applied by the West (the EU, the US, Canada, Australia and Norway) on Russia, continues to exert pressure on the overall GDP growth of Central Asia. Against this backdrop, the average growth in the five CACs is therefore estimated to slide from 6.6% in 2014 to 4.4% in 2015, before climbing back up to a brighter 5.3% in 2016.

Intra-regional trade in Central Asia has not been as significant as in Southeast Asia. For instance, in 2014, it only accounted for 7% of the total trade in Central Asia[1]. The relatively low dependency on regional trade, however, indicates a higher readiness to trade with partners further afield, including the CACs’ nearest neighbours, such as Russia and China. Moreover, the need for a more diversified economy, particularly in terms of manufacturing development, also indicates investment opportunities for Chinese companies.

While Central Asia is becoming an increasingly dynamic region connecting Eastern Europe and West Asia under the BRI, it can also be a challenging region for many new-to-the-market traders and investors. For instance, out of the five CACs, only Kyrgyzstan (since 20 December 1999) and Tajikistan (since 2 March 2013) are currently WTO members. Kazakhstan, whose accession is expected in early 2016, and Uzbekistan, are only observer states, while Turkmenistan has not even presented its candidature to the WTO.

Against this backdrop, customs clearance in Central Asia is often said to be overburdened, with bureaucratic obstacles leading to significant delays. Problems such as arbitrary seizures of goods, frequent changes in customs procedures without prior notification, excessive documentation and a lack of proper protocols to ensure that an appropriate appeals process is in place can make the importing process very uncertain, costly and time-consuming.

To a similar extent across all five CACs, business and cultural ties with Russia penetrate almost every area of daily and business life in the region. Not only do most people communicate with each other in Russian, they are also deeply accustomed to Russian culture, including movies and music. Russia also remains the most influential trading partner for most of the CACs, buying large amount of raw materials from and exporting a great deal of consumer and capital goods to all five countries.

The Customs Union, which became the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) from January 2015 and involves currently Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, has further strengthened Russia’s influence in Central Asia’s trade development. While this has its advantages, it can also cast clouds, however. The recent recession in Russia and the sharp depreciation of the ruble have taken a toll on the Central Asian economy, imperiling the financial lifeblood of many Central Asian households and businesses.

Central Asia Under the Belt and Road Initiative

Central Asia has been crucial to the BRI ever since the Initiative was first suggested by President Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in September 2013. In particular, the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor, one of six economic corridors spanning Asia, Europe and Africa, runs from Xinjiang in China, then exits the country via Alashankou, joining the railway networks of Central Asia and West Asia before extending to the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean coast and the Arabian Peninsula. The corridor covers all five CACs, as well as Iran and Turkey in West Asia.

Picture: The BRI: Six Economic Corridors Spanning Asia, Europe and Africa

In conjunction with the BRI developments, the Sino­Kazakh Cooperation Centre is located right on the border between China and Kazakhstan, in Khorgas. China's youngest city, Khorgas was officially established on 26 June 2014, and attracted nearly two million traders, from both sides, in that year alone. China is also extending its wings to encompass many of the region’s infrastructure and logistics projects, including various oil and gas pipelines, dry ports and railway tunnels – including a 19-kilometre railway tunnel under the Kamchik Pass in double-landlocked Uzbekistan linking the country’s populous Ferghana Valley with other major cities such as the capital, Tashkent.

China has also signed bilateral agreements on the building of the SREB with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with a view to further deepening and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, finance, transport and communication. The national development strategies of the five CACs – including Kazakhstan’s “Path to the Future”, Tajikistan’s “Energy, Transport and Food” (a three-pronged strategy aimed at revitalising the country), and Turkmenistan’s “Era of Might and Happiness” – all share common ground with the SREB’s objectives. Furthermore, at the third China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum held in Shandong, in June 2015, a commitment to “jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt” was incorporated into a joint declaration signed by China and the five CACs.

Central Asia: A Trading Partner for Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland

Investment, and therefore improvements in energy and transport infrastructure, under the BRI are expected to boost CACs’ trade, particularly with other Belt and Road economies such as Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. The resultant trade facilitation will therefore allow CACs to better realise the advantages their resources give them and to increase and diversify their trade in terms of export/import destinations and product variety.

In terms of trade, Kazakhstan is the No.1 Central Asian trading partner of both Hong Kong and the mainland. In 2014, the country accounted for 57% of Hong Kong’s trade with Central Asia and 50% of the mainland’s trade with Central Asia. Also noteworthy is that all the five CACs are overwhelmingly export destinations, rather than sources of imports, for Hong Kong. The pattern is repeated for the mainland, except as regards Turkmenistan.

Table: Hong Kong Trade with CACs

Product-wise, nearly 90% of Hong Kong’s exports and imports to and from Central Asia in 2014 involved electronics/electricals or related parts and components. A further breakdown shows that Hong Kong’s trade with Central Asia is predominantly concentrated on telephone sets, computers and related parts and components. This is largely due to the fact that more and more Chinese, Russian and even European telecommunications equipment companies have set up production facilities in Central Asia in order to take advantage of cheaper production costs and proximity to markets in Eastern Europe and West Asia, giving rise to a high demand for related inputs.

Table: China Trade with CACs

With respect to the mainland, the trade portfolio is much more diversified. Major exports to Central Asia in 2014 included apparel and clothing accessories (representing 22% of the total), electronics/electricals and related parts and components (21%), footwear (13%), vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, and parts and accessories (5%), and articles of iron or steel (5%). In the other direction, the mainland’s imports from Central Asia in 2014 were mainly energy resources and commodities, including mineral fuels (representing 71% of the total), chemicals and compounds of precious/rare-earth metals (9%), copper (6%), and ores, slag and ash (6%).

Central Asia: An Investment Destination for Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland

Prior to any increase in investment stemming from the implementation of the BRI, Kazakhstan is by far the largest recipient of outward direct investment (ODI) from the Chinese mainland, while no significant investment flows between Hong Kong and CACs have so far been tracked. In 2014, Kazakhstan accounted for 75% of the mainland’s ODI in Central Asia, followed by Kyrgyzstan (10%) and Tajikistan (7%). In terms of industrial distribution, oil, gas and metals receive the lion’s share of the mainland’s ODI in Central Asia, while infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and pipelines are also attracting investment.

Chart: China Stock of Outward Direct Investment to Central Asia

To better encourage foreign investment, all CAC governments have committed to improving their respective business environments, but some have been more successful than others. For instance, the government in Kazakhstan has targeted a reduction in the time required to register a business from ten days to one hour, while the paperwork needed for customs procedures and other business operations is to be cut by 60%. The country has also extended and expanded its visa-free entry scheme for a number of countries in order to boost tourism and foreign investment. Furthermore, a US$3 billion stimulus package in 2015-17, part of the country’s latest five-year economic plan, is aimed at investment priorities such as the development of the transport and logistics sectors, and improvement works on utility networks and energy infrastructure, foreshadowing greater ease and better prospects of doing business.

Table: Ease of Doing Business

Tajikistan ranked low in terms of ease of doing business in 2015 but its array of business reforms include the implementation of new software at a one-stop shop for public service delivery and the further simplification of business registration procedures. These changes led it to rank as the top improver out of 189 economies surveyed.

Turkmenistan, however, does not even have an ease of doing business ranking for international investors to assess its business environment. This indicates that foreign investment is rare in the country but also that there is a clear lack of accurate and comprehensive information on different sectors. This makes market entry not only difficult, but also highly risky.

A Closer look at the Five “Stans”

As a regional giant, the size of the Kazakh economy is almost double that of the other four CACs combined. As a more advanced economy, Kazakhstan also leads in purchasing power, which was nearly 50% higher than the first runner-up, Turkmenistan, and 10 times bigger than the least-ranked, Tajikistan. As the region’s second most populous country, Kazakhstan’s average GDP growth rate between 2009 and 2014 was, however, only about half that of Turkmenistan (10.3%), and ahead of only Kyrgyzstan (3.6%) in the region.

Table: Major Economic Indicators (2014)

Thanks to its significant mineral reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, chrome, lead, tungsten, copper, zinc, iron and gold, Kazakhstan is an important world energy supplier. Processing of metals and steel production are also leading industries in the country. Combined with other smaller manufacturing sectors such as the production of machines, chemicals and food and beverages, industry accounts for about a third of GDP. The rest of the economy is mainly comprised of construction and agriculture, as well as an extensive but mostly small-scale service sector that includes wholesale/retail trade, real estate, finance and insurance.

As an important component in the BRI, Kazakhstan has been striving to upgrade and modernise its logistics and trade infrastructure. Aside from various oil-and-gas pipelines, the passages of the Yuxinou Railway linking Chongqing with Duisburg, Germany and the Chengdu-Europe Express Railway linking Chengdu and Lodz, Poland, the free trade zone developing on the border crossing at Khorgas, on the Kazakh-Chinese border, is expected to open huge prospects for transit of cargo through Kazakhstan.

Together with the Zhetygen-Khorgas and Jezkazgan-Beineu railway lines, the Western Europe-Western China motor road corridor, and the port of Aktau on the Caspian coast, this infrastructure represents a wide array of logistics and distribution options for traders across the region. Meanwhile, expected WTO membership in early 2016 will provide traders with further relief on customs duties and import barriers, making the country an even more attractive transit point for Asian/European-bound cargo and centre for regional distribution.

The economy of the region’s most populous country, Uzbekistan, meanwhile remains highly bound up with the growing and processing of cotton, fruits, vegetables and grain (wheat, rice and corn). Aside from being a world leader on reserves of gas, coal and uranium, Uzbekistan was also the sixth-largest producer and the fifth-largest exporter of cotton in the world in 2014. However, such industries as automotive (General Motors began production of Chevrolets in November 2008, for example), agricultural machinery manufacturing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and information technology have increased in importance over the years since independence in August 1991.

Following the signing of an agreement with China in June 2015 regarding the extension of economic cooperation under the framework of the BRI, bilateral cooperation in such sectors as business, transportation and telecommunication will increase between China and Uzbekistan, while bulk stock trading, infrastructure construction and industrial park projects will also be developed. The rapid development and extension of railway and road networks in Uzbekistan, including the 19-kilometre railway tunnel connecting the capital city, Tashkent, with the populous Ferghana Valley, is an early sign of success.

Blessed by large budget surpluses stemming from the exploitation of energy sources and commodities such as gas (abundant gas deposits lie underneath the Karakum Desert – including the Galkynysh gas field, which has the second-largest volume of gas in the world, after the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf), Turkmenistan has the worst record of economic and trade liberalisation among the former republics of the Soviet Union. Unlike countries such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, which have rapidly reformed their economies in a more market­oriented direction, Turkmenistan has stuck to a “national way of development” and put less effort into modernising.

As a result, Turkmenistan’s participation in the world economy remains very low, even when compared to its Central Asian neighbours. Not only has Turkmenistan not presented its candidature to the WTO, it is also not a prospective AIIB founding member, the only exception among the five CACs.

In addition to various energy production sharing agreements (PSAs) with the Chinese mainland, Russia and Germany, the gas-rich country has announced plans to boost its gas output and is seeking ways to diversify its portfolio of export markets to encompass Belt and Road countries such as China and Iran, via new pipelines. In line with President Gurbandguly Berdymukhamedov’s leadership and declaration of an “Era of Might and Happiness”, the BRI is poised to give the country new incentives to reach out to other economies along the Belt and Road, including the Chinese mainland, notably in the transportation and infrastructure sectors.

Rich in antimony, aluminium, gold and silver and having substantial hydropower and agricultural (cotton and wheat) potential, Tajikistan is the poorest country in terms of per-capita GDP among the five CACs, thanks in part to its challenging geographic location – 90% of its territory is covered by mountains, with half being 3,000 metres above sea level. Its southern border with Afghanistan often adds uncertainty to the business environment as terrorism and drug trafficking are a menace. NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan last year poses a further threat to the country’s stability as the possibility of a spillover of unrest and terrorist activity from Afghanistan increases.

Close ties with Russia notwithstanding, Tajikistan’s trade with China has been increasingly vibrant in recent years, with Chinese enterprises staffing many infrastructure projects, including the Sahelistan Tunnel and Tajik-Uzbek Highway, as well as various resource extraction projects. Thanks to growing Chinese investments, the impoverished state broke its annual production record for cement and increased gold output by roughly 25 percent in 2014.

To revitalise the economy, the Tajik government has set three strategic goals in relation to energy independence, advancement in transport networks and food security. These national goals resemble most if not all of those of the BRI. In particular, more resources are expected to be pumped into the development of telecommunications, transportation and electricity networks. Meanwhile, better use of available infrastructure can make the nation attractive not only for businesspeople, but also leisure travellers. After all, thanks to its varied landscape and dramatic geographical features, Tajikistan was named No 2, behind Malta, in travel guide Globe Spots’ top-10 list of countries to travel to in 2014.

Heavily reliant on the production and export of gold, mercury, natural gas, uranium and agricultural products such as cotton, meat, tobacco, wool and grapes, Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country with one-third of its population living below the poverty line. Due to its mountainous landscape, livestock farming has a prominent position in the country’s agricultural economy, which also boasts a vibrant food processing industry consisting of sub-sectors encompassing sugar, fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and oil.

Billed as the eastern door to Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan has been a WTO member since 1998. The relatively long tradition of adopting laws according to WTO regulations has helped Kyrgyzstan comply with international standards of trade and business. Furthermore, in May 2015 Kyrgyzstan signed a law ratifying treaties on the country’s accession to become the fifth member of the Kremlin-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). It finally acceded in August 2015, and customs control at eight checkpoints along the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border have been abolished.

Jump-starting Trade and Investment with Central Asia

Situated in Central Asia, deep in the Eurasian continent, Kazakhstan occupies an area of some 2,724,900 km2. It is not only the biggest landlocked country and largest Central Asian economy in terms of geographical territory and GDP, but a good platform and partner for Hong Kong companies to tap into the Central Asian market under the umbrella of the BRI.

As a strategically important player under the BRI, Kazakhstan has signed a series of agreements (33 co-operation agreements worth US$23.6 billion in March 2015 and 25 agreements worth US$25 billion in September 2015) on closer cooperation in various sectors such as railway, electricity, nuclear energy and agriculture. Observing the growing impetus, many Chinese and other Asian companies (such as South Korean companies) have established operations in Kazakhstan.

The country, along with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment bank (AIIB), which is expected to play a pivotal role in supporting the development of infrastructure and other productive sectors, including energy and power, transportation and telecommunications, rural infrastructure and agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection, urban development and logistics in the region.

In order to overcome volatility in global energy prices and create a stronger base for economic growth, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced in November 2014 a new economic plan. "Path to the Future" puts infrastructure development top of the country’s list of priorities. Aside from sizeable infrastructural projects including road, rail and special economic zones, there will also be financial support worth KZT100 billion tenge (US$0.5 billion) for SMEs, creating some 4,500 additional jobs as well as incentives for Kazakh companies to internationalise.

For the time being, Kazakhstan is the only CAC with a consulate office in Hong Kong. This, together with reciprocal 14-day visa-free status for HKSAR and Kazakh passport holders, makes business connections between the two economies far easier than with other CACs. In addition, direct flights (twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays) between Hong Kong and Almaty – the largest city in Kazakhstan and its key business city – give the country a further advantage over other CACs in terms of being Hong Kong’s first port of call in Central Asia.

Moreover, some Kazakh companies have chosen to list in Hong Kong. Kazakhmys PLC, a leading natural resource group and the first Kazakh company to list on the London Stock Exchange, listed in Hong Kong in 2011, while its marketing and logistics arm also relocated to Hong Kong from London in October 2012. The country’s imminent WTO membership in early 2016 is poised to trigger stronger trade and investment flows to and from Kazakhstan, and will provide a wealth of opportunities in international logistics and financial services for Hong Kong companies.

[1] Intra-regional trade share refers to the percentage of intra-regional trade to total trade of the region. A higher share indicates a higher degree of dependency on regional trade.

Rony
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2224
Joined: 14 Jul 2006 23:29

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 27 May 2016 18:09

X-Post from OIT thread

shiv wrote:
RajeshA wrote:
The historians like to treat Iranians as a separate people than Indians, and perhaps we too did split off at some point in time. But Iranians origin is also India.
So on linguistic grounds, we should not allow historians to divide between Indian and Iranian languages. We need to get rid of the hyphen here, and treat these languages as Indian as well.

Historians are biased people who will ignore stuff if they feel like it due to personal biases. No wonder history is no science

See this:
http://idrw.org/chabahar-and-its-implic ... more-96096
The word Chabahar comes from the Hindustani word, char, which means four, and bahar, which means spring. True to its name, it is an all-season but cool port located in Baluchistan and Sistan province of Iran. The 10th century scholar and historian, Al-Beruni, identifies Chabahar from its earlier name, Tiz, which is the starting point of old India.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14709
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 28 May 2016 08:48

The ummah are trying to reduce India to remaining a minor player in the region, while fraudulently getting her to invest in their infrastructure . Why should India accord any special privileges to Iran when such cooperative ummah perfidy is evident.??

of course, the old fart Sartaj Aziz may well be floating a trial balloon to gauge reactions and also needle India because the pakis are rattled.


Pakistan may link Gwadar to India-funded Chabahar in Iran, says Sartaj Aziz


ISLAMABAD (APP) – Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday said that Pakistan was considering linking Gwadar with the Iranian harbor Chabahar, in which India has a major stake.
“Pakistan welcomes projects of regional connectivity which have the potential to generate economic activity,” Aziz said while responding to a question during a press briefing.
The adviser hinted at declaring Gwadar and Chabahar as “sister ports” and said Pakistan was also constructing a road to the Iranian port being developed jointly by India, Iran and Afghanistan.
“A number of proposals for regional connectivity are on the cards and even China is pursing routes other than China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the region.”

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 20794
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 28 May 2016 11:18

Chabahar not rival to Gwadar port: Iran - DT
Speaking on Pakistan-Iran relations at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) here, the envoy said the Chabahar agreement recently signed among Iran, India and Afghanistan was not limited to three countries only and offered Pakistan and China to join it. “The deal is not closed. We are waiting for new members. Both Pakistan and China are welcome,” he said.

Arjun
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4114
Joined: 21 Oct 2008 01:52

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Arjun » 28 May 2016 18:51

Of course Pak and China should be welcome to use Chabahar- Cental Asia route....as long as it doesnt affect India's reach to the stans and Russia. The more China uses the route, it would only weaken Gwadar and Pak-China relations further.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14709
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 28 May 2016 19:16

Arjun wrote:Of course Pak and China should be welcome to use Chabahar- Cental Asia route....as long as it doesnt affect India's reach to the stans and Russia. The more China uses the route, it would only weaken Gwadar and Pak-China relations further.


gwadar is mostly looking like it's main business will be to provide an alternate route for oil & gas from the gulf to china via shitistan. the pakis will be kept happy with some crumbs from the han table.

the hans were always deeply paranoid about someone choking up the passage thru the straits.

The hans are heavily dependent on the pakis to provide asset security in the hostile province of balochistan and will keep their hands clean while urging the pakis to get their hands bloody and dirty.

they seem to have paid off high echelons of the paki army already.

If it's going to be a free for all at the chabahar port, why did India rush into it all?? Surely not to provide infrastructure for the hans and the pakis to use??

Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2932
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 29 May 2016 08:16

I had read in the TFT sometime ago that PA was asking the Chinese to pay them to raise a new PA division tasked exclusively to guard Chinese assets in Pakistan.

In the Chabahar agreement, India is supposed to build two jetties and operate them for 10 years. India has guaranteed cargo volumes for those 2 jetties. It means these jetties will be used exclusive for cargo from and to India.

China, or any other country, can presumably build and operate more jetties nearby for their use. The India-Iran agreement does not prevent that.

But think about it for a moment. If China uses Chabahar, instead of Gwadar, for its cargo, then Munna Pakistan loses the transit fee it is supposed to earn from Gwadar. And other than China, no other country will take the risk of transiting its cargo through Pakistan, if the Iran route is available to them.

So I don't think China/ Pakistan will try to steal Chabahar from India. They will try to sabotage it instead.

On its part, India is trying to rope in Japan as a co-developer to build the port and the industrial complex around it.

I don't want to jinx it, but if the Chabahar deal works out, India gets access not just to Afghanistan, but also to the landlocked CAR countries such as Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrghyz etc, without having to transit through either Pakistan or China. IMHO it is worth the billion dollar gamble that Modi Sarkar has taken.

Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2932
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 29 May 2016 08:41

Here are the 2 biggest sources of my worries about this deal actually succeeding:

1. India does not have a great record in executing large projects on time.

2. Iran does not have a great record in honoring agreements and contracts that it signs.

I am still hopeful.

Arjun
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4114
Joined: 21 Oct 2008 01:52

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Arjun » 29 May 2016 08:53

On the cynical side...just based on potential ROI alone the project seems to be MOORE than worth it. Just compare what China and India are investing respectively. No wonder China and Iran seem to be sounding a little green.

On the non-cynical side - this could truly be a civilizational game changer. The Sindhis who rule UAE today and who used to hold sway all the way till Astrakhan five centuries back - and the Parsis of Mumbai can return to take the lead in their traditional stomping ground. There is still hope for the long-lost Persian leg of the Indo-European family..

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14709
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 29 May 2016 08:56

The primary and strategic purpose of chabahar and gwadar is very different and apples cannot be compared with oranges, that said, the pakis can and will undoubtedly hit Indian cargo inside afghanistan.

transit thru iran has it's own security dynamics. Iran is a greedy, insecure country and will always ask for more than it's fair share, just like the pakis. This seems to be a universal ummah trait.

china needs the CPEC very badly and is looking to the pakis to keep it secure for them. They have been planning the CPEC for decades and the idiot pakis think that it is something new and solely intended to benefit the pakis.

All the wooing of the pakis has been with the CPEC in the strategic background and unbalancing India in the (mostly) tactical foreground.

The only country that poses any danger to the CPEC is India as the project necessarily has to traverse illegally ceded Indian territory that the chinese had maneuvered the pakis decades ago into forking over to them. That act by itself should have alerted the Indian strategic community to the serious repercussions of the land transfer had they not been so totally engrossed solely, in the wining and dining part of their "intellectual" exertions.

At least now, some think tank should seriously game the entire CPEC and seriously study the risks to India. The chinese have just revealed their hand somewhat and we can see the outlines of how they intend to play this out and what role they have assigned to the pakis and how the afghan factor will be used to further corner India.

Our "security" experts are still stuck at the stage of critically perusing the menu and choice of cuisine at any security conference that they attend. Not much can be expected from this already suborned bunch, pushing canned solutions to please their paymasters.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14709
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 29 May 2016 08:59

Kakkaji wrote:Here are the 2 biggest sources of my worries about this deal actually succeeding:

1. India does not have a great record in executing large projects on time.

2. Iran does not have a great record in honoring agreements and contracts that it signs.

I am still hopeful.


Iran should be made to entirely fund the undersea pipeline to India so that they are also seen as equal participants and stake holders in the enterprise risk

ldev
BRFite
Posts: 1397
Joined: 06 Nov 2002 12:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ldev » 29 May 2016 12:42

This whole business of the Chabahar port providing access to Central Asia for India is IMO overblown, at least for trade purposes. If you look at the map the countries which can be accessed from that port besides Iran itself are, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. The combined population and GDP of all those countries is a fraction of India i.e. India can get oil and gas as well as trade with other countries far more easily and profitably than the landlocked "stans". Unlike China, India does not have massive amounts of manufactured exports, bought in every country in the world to try and replicate an Indian version of the Chinese "One belt One Road". Therefore, Chabahar should be used to pre-position military equipment to open up a 2nd front against Pakistan and for access to Afghanistan both for commercial and military purposes. The question is, how reliable are the Iranians for something as crucial as this from India's standpoint? The one thing the Iranians are paranoid about is the Sunni world and to the extent Mr. Modi is developing relations with KSA, UAE, etc. it will IMO help to put pressure on the Iranians to behave. After all, many countries must be envying India right now - the Indian Navy is exercising with the Iranian Navy at the same time that the Indian Air Force is exercising with the UAE air force i.e. India has got the Sunni and Shia worlds covered. The icing on the cake would have been the IAF exercising with the Saudi Air Force at the same time the Indian Navy is exercising with the Iranians. But I think even that day is coming soon. Not even the US, Russia or China have managed to pull of something like that. I think the present GOI has to be commended.

rahulm
BRFite
Posts: 1022
Joined: 19 Jun 2000 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby rahulm » 29 May 2016 14:37

Since everybody has their crystal ball out , here's mine:

1. If China wishes to sign an agreement with Iran for Chabahar - India will not oppose it. Iran may chase it just to show TSP up and to give more Khujli. India may even be OK with it. It's a win-win-win.

2. If 1 should eventuate, China will do a balancing act between Gwadar and Chabar. China can keep producing unending security concerns to control the flow of investment into Gwadar. TSP has no leverage. China holds all the investment cards , flow and timing - agreement/MOU be dammed. In a 10+ year time frame there is no knowing how Baloch independence is going to shape up. Expect an independent Balochistan to be India's ally. Baloch nationalism and separatism will be watched carefully, so China will want to hedge its bets.

3. At some stage,present Uncle-Chinese grand standing not withstanding, there will be some sort of accommodation (may be non equitable for India according to some) reached between India, US and China. This will polarise lots of people in India and BRF even more than the Civil Nuclear Deal which shaheedised many BRFites. Once this happens, expect deeper than, sweeter than and taller than friend to start slide lining TSP. At this point, 4 letter treaties will become irrelevant,

China-India understanding will be based on the old framework - 1/3 for you, 1/3 for me and the rest for every body but with modifications to reflect current status of both players. US has a different set of reasons.

4. Since TSP nukes are Chinese, these will now be taken care of by the Chinese i.e they become a non issue. They just dis-appear - poof! TSP will collapse. Without nukes, nobody cares about them not even the middle east.

Neither India, US or China wants a war in the next decade or so or ever.

US wants to manage the rise of India and China on its own terms and an arrangement to maintain its pre-eminence as long s possible. China simply wants its place in the sun. The price of its place in the sun is to accommodate India. I think India will 'accept' this arrangement. India needs 10+ years of turbo charged growth.

TSP is irrational but China is a very cold, hard rational player. China-India are civilisationally close current differences not withstanding. The above will take us through the next 15- 20 years or so - give or take then all will take a cold hard look again.

BRIC etc will die.

I haven't worked out the Russian response and angle.

All this is behind the Burqha stuff with red lines known to 3. In public, rhetoric and dramabaazi will continue to flow like cheap cask wine, like today.

This is not my aspiration. This is the way I read the crystal ball.

I am aware this goes against BRF DNA. :)

Muppalla
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7031
Joined: 12 Jun 1999 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Muppalla » 29 May 2016 19:48

Gagan wrote:Also the proposed Oman-India undersea pipeline, with Iran joining in. Note the correlation to Pakistan's earlier EEZ, these do not however account for the Extended Continental Shelf (in blue in the map above 50,000 sq km)


Is this undersea pipeline still seriously being pursued? I thought these days container lines are as efficient as under sea pipelines and hence no interest.

arshyam
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2545
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arshyam » 29 May 2016 21:09

sukhish wrote:seems like you know a lot about NDA sarkar, agreement was signed because the international sanctions were lifted about 6 months ago. this agreement could have been signed last year as well. also how come only MOU and no agreement ? same thing with UAE another MOU. sometime it s better to get into the details then just trust the blind advertisement machine of this sarkar.
So is it your case that Modi woke up after the sanctions were lifted? And he could just waltz-in and sign an MoU like that? Let's see now:

September 13 , 2014 - Acceptability invite for PM from Tehran - Telegraph India
Rouhani handed over the invite to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj when they met today on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan — the first major dialogue between senior leaders of the two countries since Modi took over in May.

Simply a matter of scheduling + ground work.
Modi has indicated that he is keen to visit Tehran and Sushma told Rouhani India hoped to schedule the trip in 2015, senior Indian and Iranian officials have independently confirmed to The Telegraph.

The clincher, considering the amount of money GoI (MMS) had invested in Afghanistan, how much importance they attached to having a way to get there.
Although Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, visited Tehran in 2012 for a Non-Aligned Movement summit, former NDA Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit was the last fully bilateral trip in 2002.


Let's see what happens after that:
Nov 5, 2014 - Nitin Gadkari: India to develop Chabahar port in Iran - PTI, India.com

May 5, 2015 - Deal on Chabahar port likely during Nitin Gadkari's Iran visit - ET

01st June 2015 - Sushma, Jaishankar to Visit Iran - TNIE

September 7 , 2015 - Secret trips to West Asia - Doval's visits seek to balance ties with Israel and Iran - Telegraph India

29 Sep 2015 - Nitin Gadkari to lead delegation to Iran with investment proposals PTI via DNA India

Apr 17, 2016 - Sushma Swaraj visits Tehran: Iran can partner with India on energy needs, says Rouhani - FP

(I have linked only the visits from India's side to Iran. Feel free to look up the visits from the Iranian sides to New Delhi.)

And now, the PM's visit, accompanied again by Gadkari.
May 23, 2016 - India commits huge investment in Chabahar - PTI via The Hindu

Why?
Why the Chabahar Port agreement kills two birds with one stone - HT
To get the project moving, Modi set up the NDA government’s first informal group of ministers comprising finance minister Arun Jaitley, transport and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan with the National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, as its coordinator.

This article is worth a full read, considering it details a lot of ground work done prior:
During his trip to the five Central Asian republics last year, Modi laid the foundation for India’s entry into the Oman-Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan Ashgabat Agreement, a multimodal deal, for transporting natural gas to the Chabahar Port, and from there through LNG ships or pipelines for energy-hungry India.

It also says the following:
Situated 72 km west of the Pakistan-China joint venture Gwadar port and on the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the Chabahar Port made its first appearance on the India-Iran bilateral map during the previous NDA regime in 2003.

The Manmohan Singh government understood the significance of the Chabahar Port. But it was shackled by fear of the US sanctions and its impact on the 2005 civilian nuclear agreement. It approved India’s investment only about a decade later when the Iran-US rapprochement became a real possibility. Modi inherited these impediments when he took office. To complicate matters, the Iranians tried to change the joint-venture partner which had been approved by the UPA.

Like it or not, the details don't support your claims of Modi being 'only advertisement' and MMS acting on our interests in this region. Of course, you could continue to keep trolling, but the data speaks for itself. Over and out.

schinnas
BRFite
Posts: 1047
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 09:44

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby schinnas » 30 May 2016 16:46

ldev wrote:This whole business of the Chabahar port providing access to Central Asia for India is IMO overblown, at least for trade purposes. If you look at the map the countries which can be accessed from that port besides Iran itself are, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. The combined population and GDP of all those countries is a fraction of India i.e. India can get oil and gas as well as trade with other countries far more easily and profitably than the landlocked "stans".


India is currently very closely tied to Arab-Sunni states for its energy needs and also as employment provider for millions of her citizens, which gives the sunni states tremendous leverage. India being their only major growing consumer is not sufficient enough clout to counter-balance the leverage they have over India. Getting oil or natural gas at scale from other sources outside of ME is not economically most efficient always. The diversification option is for India to source from Shia Iran, Oman + CIS states as a counter balance to Arab-Sunni states. India procuring 40% of her energy needs from each of these two blocks with 20% from South American or African sources will provide us enough leverage to negotiate with any single producer.

Also, multi-lateral agreements that involve multiple states provides more incentive for Iran to behave.

Agnimitra
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5147
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 31 May 2016 19:40

RoyG wrote:These Persians are more colonized than we are. They bent over backwards as soon as the Muslims crossed their borders and adopted Arab culture en masse. Moreover, their Ayotallah has to claim he is a descendant of Syed (Arab) which is signified by black topi. It's not enough that they have to doggy style in the direction of the lingam at the heart of Arab lands.

RoyG ji, you hit the nail on the head. Persians are driven by the appearance of power and ostentation. They are the root of the TFTA mentality. All their other qualities like stubbornness, boldness, aesthetic and religious talent, tactical brilliance, etc are at the service of this singular drive to be close to power and pelf. They are also experts at continuously re-writing "history" to justify themselves or make themselves seem true inheritors of whatever soft power holds the key to mass control or hard power in their region. Their means of attaining it were typically servile, but whitewashed as a great fortuitous meeting of stars on earth. They gave their daughters in marriage to the conquerors (or stood by and looked on as they were taken), and thus crowded the courts of the conquerors and the khaneqahs of its ideology along with flattering poets, "historians" and scheming shakuni advisors. In this way they maintained sway each time the pendulum swung. They reserve as much "contempt but affection" for those they consider to NOT be keys to power and pelf (like India) as they harbor "hatred and admiration" for those they do (like the US).

RajeshA
BRF Oldie
Posts: 15949
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 19:30

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 31 May 2016 19:52

Agnimitra ji,

Would you be having any references to pre-Achaemenid Iran which used to worship more Mithra than Zarathustra?

Agnimitra
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5147
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 11:31

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 31 May 2016 22:29

RajeshA wrote:Would you be having any references to pre-Achaemenid Iran which used to worship more Mithra than Zarathustra?

Mithra was explicitly invoked in all contracts in Hittite and Mittani sources. Later, Zarathushtra's condemnation of bull-sacrifice is a prominent indicator that this rite that was central to Mithraism in the ancient Iranic (and later Western) world was prevalent in his time. Also, during the Achaemenids, they had to create a "fusion" religion to incorporate the Mithraic into Zoroastrianism, since aristocracies across their domains were still deeply attached to Mithraism - so they renovated some aspects of Mithraism and incorporated it, while keeping out certain explicitly condemned parts such as bull-sacrifice. Further, Zoroastrianism itself borrowed and perpetuated several monickers formerly used for Mithra, such as Kshatrapati, Baga (which gave the name to Baghdad), etc. Most post-Zoroastrian Iranic mysticism continued to be Mithraic, as did post-Islamic Iranic mysticism. The most iconic poet Hafez's symbolism is predominantly Mithraic. At some point, a large portion of the Iranic/C. Asian Mihraic priesthoods immigrated back into the Indian Subcontinent - the "Shakadwipi" brahmins are their descendants. Thus, Mithraism spread from India out into the Iranosphere (and further West), and then at some point its priesthoods returned back to the nest.

RajeshA
BRF Oldie
Posts: 15949
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 19:30

Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 31 May 2016 23:41

Agnimitra ji,

thanks for the information. A follow up question here.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: anupmisra, Apurva, Avinandan, L Ram, Schmidt, Varuna and 25 guests