March 17, 2005

Indo-Iranian Pipeline

Voice of America has the economic goods:

... "If U.S. pressure could be that effective, the Indians would not have recently signed a $40 billion contract with Iran for LNG," [Brahma Chellaney, an analyst with the New Delhi based Center for Policy Research]noted. "It's a 25-year contract and India will be importing more than 1.2 million metric tons of LNG every year from Iran. That was a massive deal - much, much bigger than what the pipeline will involve."

... But Sukh Deo Muni, a professor of international relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, says if Washington takes a hard-line stance with nations that do business with Iran, it could affect its relationship with India.

"The overall atmosphere in India-US relations is so positive, that the Iran issue does not need to be played unduly out of proportion," he said. "But if the US takes a very rigid position, that, No - you can do nothing with Iran, this will definitely have a negative fallout."

The United States already has little used legislation on the books that requires Washington to sanction firms that do more than $40 million of oil or gas business per year with Iran. But analysts say it does not appear likely Washington will invoke it against India's state-owned energy companies any time soon. Rather, Secretary of State Rice has suggested that the United States and India work together to develop technologies to harness new sources of energy for both nations' growing energy needs.

Are they specifically attacking the pipeline deal for symbolic traction, then? If they aren't going to press over much larger petrochemical deals, why bother with the one part of the trade relationship that might help stabilize the region by fostering some type of cooperation between India and Pakistan?

Of course, the elephant in the room is China, which trades massively with Iran and also needs its petrochemical resources. If you call India on trading with Iran, and only on a deal that will result in the building of a large semi-permanent structure that makes good copy (hey guys, we can describe this thing in terms of how many football fields long it is!), but ignore less 'tangible' trade and the relationship with China, then you're just stirring the pot to make headlines about how tough you sound when you go parading around the world in your dominatrix gear.

I call bulls***.

Posted by natasha at March 17, 2005 11:16 AM | International | Technorati links |

Well we send a guy to the U.N that hates the U.N., put someone at the World Bank with no experience in the financial field at all, have a torturer as AG, can we perhaps find someone who despises all people from India to handle this matter perhaps? I am sure Bushie is searching his minions for just such a person.

Posted by: Scott at March 17, 2005 07:02 PM