USA’s diktat Diplomacy
The new Trump administration intends to change the previous liberal diplomatic policy of USA. A section has termed the new international policy of USA as Diktat Diplomacy. Following this strategy, USA has been piling the pressure on India in its ongoing efforts to isolate Iran after the Trump administration renegade on the historic nuclear deal, that is, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
However, all the other signatories of P5+1, have said that they will honor the deal and will not reimpose sanctions on Iran. Russia was very much critical over the change in the Iran policy of the USA. In Asia, only the government of India, Japan and South Korea seem to be buckling under the threat.
The Trump administration decline the "special waivers" to countries like India, which have been the traditional importers of Iranian oil. Going by the past experience, Indian government is likely to substantially reduce oil imports from USA. However, most of the sanctions against Iran during the past were mandated by the United Nations.
Iran has become a top supplier of crude to India, just behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In addition, Iranian heavy crude is cheaper than Saudi and Iraqi oil. Indian Government also committed in 2016 to transfer $ 6.5 billion it owed to Iran as payment for oil supplies. The payment was held owing to this situation. During the earlier sanctions period, India and Iran had agreed to conduct half of the oil trade between the two countries in Indian Rupees.
The new unilateral sanctions imposed by the USA, however, are deemed to be illegal under International law. Recently, India gave permission to Iranian bank to open a branch in Mumbai. Bank Pasargad is the first Iranian bank branch to be opened in India.
Chahbahar Dilemma :
There is also a big question of the Chahbahar port, located adjacent to the Gwadar port in Pakistan, which India is committed to develop. The Iranian government wants the Indian government to start work on Infrastructure projects that will connect the port to the Iranian rail network and the city of Zabedan located close to the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Indian Government has on previous occasions insisted that it will comply with the sanctions regime only if it is internationally mandated. However, it may bow to arm-twisting by USA.
India- USA Army Cooperation :
Indian Government seems to be on the verge of signing the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with the USA. India has been under the pressure to do so after signing of the Logistics Exchange Agreement, 2016. If the Indian government initials the COMCASA, the Indian military will be further drawn into American military alliance.
The Logistics Exchange Agreement allows the US military to use Indian Army bases and ports. COMCASA will give the USA access to the Indian military's communication systems. It will compromise the sophisticated Russian equipment which is in the service of Indian armed forces, besides sending a message to China that India is now a key part of the USA's grand strategy of isolating it militarily in the Asia-pacific region.
Way Forward :
Indian Prime Minister, in recent months has started talking about the need for strategic autonomy and ambiguity in India's foreign policy. He said, recently, that India's friendship with the USA should not be viewed as an alliance that seeks to contain any other country in the region. There is a need to revisit the ties and the world should make deals on mutual deals rather than on diktat diplomacy.
Multiple Choice Questions :
Q. Which of the following make/s border with Iran?
i. Caspian sea
Iii. Saudi Arabia
1. Only I, ii, and iii are correct
2. only iii is correct
3. Only I, ii and iv are correct
4. Only ii, iii and iv are correct
Hint- Try to learn through maps and see all the important places in news with their border nations, seas and ocean. UPSC is continuously asking questions of these kind.
There are chances that a question may be asked in either of GS paper 2 or Paper 3. The format may be -
Q. The Diktat policy of USA affect negatively the relationship of India with other countries. Explain.
Hint-- Try to start with what the diktat policy of USA and how it is different from the balance of power based regime. The past relationship of India with Russia, Iran, China and how the sanctions of USA on Iran, COMCASA and Asia pivotal etcetra can backfire India's age old diplomacy. The Article has all the important points. One may also add other points like disinvesting China from RIMPAC may also enhance enmity in the world scenario. Try to conclude in a positive note.