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US Seeking to Derail Iran-India Ties

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TEHRAN, April 30 (ICANA) – Washington has long been seeking to trouble the historical ties between Iran and India in a bid to lay further pressure on Iran over its progress in civilian nuclear technology and, meantime, prevent creation of strategic bonds and cooperation between the two regional powers as growing relations between Tehran and New Delhi would endanger the US foothold in the region.
Saturday, April 30, 2011 9:10:11 PM
US Seeking to Derail Iran-India Ties

As part of the same US strategy, a former US Treasury official recently wrote an article exhorting the government of India not to purchase oil from Iran. The article (Not worth banking on, by buying oil from Iran, India could be fuelling terrorism, by Avi Jorisch, Hindustan Times, April 13, 2011) has tried to obfuscate and mix the issues.

What follows is a response given to Jorisch's article by the Deputy Chief of the Mission of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New Delhi Reza Alaei Tazegheshlagh.

It has intentionally hidden the fact that the oil sales by Iran are not covered by the international sanctions. Even the European - Iranian Bank ( Europisch - Iranische Handelsbank or EIH ) does not face any sanctions from the UN Security Council. The European Union and Germany also have not blacklisted it. It was for this reason that Germany's foreign and economic ministries had ratified an arrangement to transfer Iranian oil proceeds. India also has not blacklisted it, otherwise it would not have agreed to the transfer of oil sale proceed through it. Only the US has done so and done so wrongly. The writer has tried to give the impression that the whole world has blacklisted the bank. The problem with the Americans is that they consider the US to be the whole world.

Mr. Jorisch writes that Iran needs money to suppress its people and facilitate terrorism. Nothing can be further from the truth. Iran is the most democratic country in the whole region. It is certainly more democratic than many regional regimes which the US has till now propped and is still propping up.

I must state that Iran has till now held more than thirty various presidential, parliamentary, municipal, local and other elections. There is a strong foundation of democratic institutions in the country. The government recently started a cash subsidy scheme for the people of the whole country. The money is transferred every month to the bank account of each and every citizen of the country. Iran needs money for various programs like this and development of the country and not to repress its people as has wrongly been claimed by the writer of this article, who has made opposing Iran to be his profession and earns his livelihood from this.

The writer is supposed to be an expert on counter terrorism. He must be knowing that Iran itself has been a victim of terrorism and has never supported it. It is also well known that Osama bin Laden has been friends with the Americans. There are even reports that the 9/11 conspiracy on whose pretext the US attacked Afghanistan was hatched by the Americans themselves. The US has been providing help to many terrorist groups in Iran like the MKO (the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization) and Jundollah. Many terrorists sought by India are in the US. Moreover, Iran has always demanded that the term 'terrorism' should be defined and terrorism and terrorists should not be dealt with on selective basis.

The writer has wrongly stated that the traditional Indian-Iranian relationship has revolved around bilateral trade. The Americans are materialistic and can only think in terms of money and trade. The eastern nations, on the other hand, place more importance on culture. What binds India and Iran is not trade but their shared culture and values. Trade is only a small part of this relationship. And so even if trade is faced with some temporary difficulties, ties between our two countries can never be affected.

The article writes, "India and Iran were using a relatively unknown clearing house……Washington put pressure on New Delhi and transaction between Iran and India ground to a halt." If the claim is true, is it right for a country to put pressure over the other sovereign country? Even if pressure was put by Washington over New Delhi, it was not for a former official of the US government and who still has close links with it to write so in an Indian newspaper. The government of India has denied any kind of foreign pressure in this regard and the government of Iran accepts the same.

The article is really naive. About the decision of India to purchase oil from Iran, it writes, "… there are many sources around the globe; New Delhi's insistence on buying oil from a rogue regime is nothing short of baffling."

Why he should be baffled at all. It is about the decision of a sovereign country to buy or not to buy certain commodity from certain country. Or does the writer thinks he knows more than the government of India about the Indian interests?

The Islamic Republic of Iran does not endorse a radical form of religion. Iran believes in dialogue among civilizations and understanding between different religions. The United Nations declared the year 2001 as the year for dialogue among civilizations at the proposal of Iran. But there are many radically religious countries around the world with whom the US is close friends.

Moreover, now they are trying to make friends with the Taliban. Iran does not subscribe to the ideology held by those who carry the heinous terror attacks in Kashmir, Mumbai and other places throughout India. It is the ideology of the friends of the US. Many accused of the Mumbai attacks are in America. Everybody in India knows this obvious truth.

Before talking about Iran's human rights record, the writer should read the latest Amnesty International report about the human rights situation in the US which says that the indefinite detention without charge in the US naval base at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of foreign nationals designated as "enemy combatants" has entered its eighth year. 194 persons are still languishing there. The killings of the innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan is a war crime committed by the US.

The article has talked about Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals. Probably the writer does not know that Mahatma Gandhi was a staunch supporter of the cause of Palestine. Mahatma Gandhi fought against imperialism and was opposed to power mongering. But the US has been providing all kind of material, political and moral support to the Zionists.

The article has blatantly threatened the Indian companies using the German Central Bank/ EIH mechanism to transact business with Iran that they risk losing their access to US and European markets. It seems that the US officials are still living in the past when threatening others was considered to be a part and parcel of normal diplomatic discourse. But now things have changed and are changing very fast. Now many superpowers have simply disappeared from the horizon and some others are faced with great economic difficulties. Some years ago nobody could imagine a demonstration by the unemployed in the US, which has become the biggest indebted nation in the world. New economic powers are emerging fast. In such times of uncertainty, one should always avoid speaking the language of power and threat.

Iran has time and again stated that it does intend to build the nuclear bomb. The religious authorities of Iran have declared the use of nuclear weapons as haram (forbidden). Iran never attacked its neighbors. But unfortunately many have knowingly and intentionally decided not to listen to what Iran says. Is it not a paradox that the US claims to be fighting proliferation of the nuclear weapons while it is the only country in the world which has committed a nuclear crime and used atomic bombs against innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The people of the world will not accept the allegations made by the US against other countries as it is habitual speaking lies. It invaded Iraq, destroyed the whole country and killed more than one hundred thousand innocent people on basis of false claims and the pretext of the weapons of mass destruction. It attacked Afghanistan on the pretext of fighting against terrorism and in the end is willing to talk the very people, Taliban, whom it had toppled. America instigated Saddam Hussein to attack Iran and provided him with all kinds of support. Later, the US ambassador to Baghdad encouraged the Iraqi ruler to invade Kuwait. But then the US turned against Saddam Hussein who, ultimately, was executed. The list of the US crimes is long and it should become a topic of international debate whether the US is really worth banking on.

I must add that ties between Iran and India are as strong as ever and will not be affected by any third party interference. The people and the leaders of the two countries are determined to take this relationship as higher as possible.

Moreover, the bilateral relationship between these two countries is not against any other country and is in the interest of the people of this region and, by extension, of the whole world. The enemies of this relationship will not succeed in their nefarious designs.

I wish to end this piece by referring to the statement of Jawahar Lal Nehru who said, "Few people have been more closely related in origin and throughout history than the people of India and the people of Iran." (FNA)

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