South Asia and Beyond

Iran’s Power Game, India And Ambitious Connectivity Deals

 Iran’s Power Game, India And Ambitious Connectivity Deals

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar (left) met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran earlier this week.

Amid all the noise about Iran striking at sundry adversaries in Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, and backing armed proxies, the big question: what do the clerics gain from such disruptive activities in the region? Former diplomat Dilip Sinha argues that the clerics see their nation as the major non-Arab and Shia force in a Sunni Arab sea. Therefore, they need to intervene in defence of other Shia or Shia-affiliated people, directly or through the use of armed proxies, such as the Houthis in Yemen or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hamas in Gaza is also a proxy although a Sunni one! This policy may have got a boost after Ebrahim Raisi was elected president in June 2021 with the full backing of his hardline mentor Ayatollah Khamenei. Raisi is known to believe that “Iran needs to resuscitate the 1979 Islamic Revolution” which led to the overthrow of Shah Reza Pahlavi. Although Islamism has been the defining mark of Iran since those days, clearly Raisi believes those values have diluted over the years....Read More

Surya Gangadharan

Thirty eight years in journalism, widely travelled, history buff with a preference for Old Monk Rum. Current interest/focus spans China, Technology and Trade. Recent reads: Steven Colls Directorate S and Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon. Netflix/Prime video junkie. Loves animal videos on Facebook. Reluctant tweeter.