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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear program’

Can India Balance Its Ties with the U.S. and Iran?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 9, 2012

Shannon Stapleton / AFP / Getty Images

SHANNON STAPLETON / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (L) meets with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on May 7, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her visit to Kolkata and New Delhi this week to urge India to up its efforts in reducing oil imports from Iran. In remarks made in Kolkata, Clinton commended the cuts India has made in the last few years, but said that it is part of “India’s role in the international community” to go further and join the U.S.-led effort to pressure Tehran to open its nuclear program up to inspections.

(READ: To confront Iran, will the U.S. risk ties with India?)

In late June, the U.S. will be imposing sanctions targeting the financial institutions of nations that don’t cut back on their Iranian oil imports. The heat got turned up a notch for both India and South Korea — both big customers for Tehran — since Clinton announced in March that 10 European nations as well as Japan, which is in the midst of an energy crunch after last year’s tsunami and nuclear crisis, earned an exemption from the sanctions after slashing their imports. Read the rest of this entry »

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You Say You Wanna Bomb Iran? Take a Number and Stand in Line

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 3, 2011

by 

Yes, you heard right: Britain  is preparing to bomb Iran. Well, that’s if the latest reported leaks from the British government are to be believed. The Guardian — not known, like some of its British rivals are, for frequent breathless front-page claims of imminent military strikes on Iran — reported Wednesday that Britain’s Defense Ministry has stepped up plans for military action against Iran. Not that the Brits would kick things off, of course; their contingency planning is ostensibly geared towards playing a largely symbolic support role (think “Coalition of the Willing”)  should the Obama Administration “decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities.”

Beneath the attention-grabbing headline, the story is a familiar one:  British officials believe that while President Barack Obama “has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s U.S. election … the calculus could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by Western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking.”

The Guardian’s sources create the impression of dramatic new developments and a ticking clock, although the consensus among the  world’s intelligence agencies that Iran remains some years away from having  nuclear weapons, and has not yet decided to actually build them even though it is assembling the means to do so. But the alarmist messaging certainly jibes with an Israeli diplomatic campaign launched to persuade reluctant governments to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if they hope to avoid a potentially catastrophic war. Israel underscored the point, Wednesday, announcing it had successfully tested a missile capable of reaching Iran — at the same time as Israeli papers were filled with stories claiming that  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking cabinet approval for bombing Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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