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Behind Delhi Car Bomb Blast: Iran?

In the last 65 years, only the Soviet Union took payment in rupees for oil. And now Iran. Why would Iran trigger bomb blasts in New Delhi?

Israel will still blame Iran even if it's a CNG blast, Saying the gas is Iranian  |  Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; 15 Feb 2012; source & courtesy-mumbaimirror.com  |  Click for image.

Israel will still blame Iran even if it’s a CNG blast, Saying the gas is Iranian | Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; 15 Feb 2012; source & courtesy-mumbaimirror.com | Click for image.

An explosion on Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi damaged an Israeli embassy car, and injured its occupants.Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of the defense attache at the Israeli embassy was seriously wounded. She is in critical care. She was on her way to pick up her children from their school. It is unusual for a diplomatic vehicle to be attacked on the streets of New Delhi. The Delhi police went into action. The international media wanted to know who had done the attack minutes after it was reported.The police was wary. Let us conduct our investigation, they said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went before his parliament and accused Iran of a terrorist act. “The elements behind these attacks were Iran and its protege, Hezbollah.” Iran, he said, is “the largest terror exporter in the world” and Israel “would act with a strong hand.” This was all the confirmation that BBC needed. It began to report the attack as an Iranian act against an Israeli diplomat on Indian soil.

Why would Iran conduct an attack on an Israeli diplomat in India, particularly as India is in the midst of trying to negotiate a delicate arrangement with Tehran to pay for Iranian oil? The question mystifies. (via Asia Times Online :: India’s dilemma: How to pay for Iranian oil).

For more on the Oil-India-Iran-USA matrix, read the first post in the related articles section below – titled Indian diplomacy: Heavy Lifting.


All about Oil

At the root of US-Iran rivalry, is the question of who will supply oil and gas to India and China.

Big Oil has the eyes, ears, mind, actions of the world's ruling elite - also in India. (Cartoon by : David Horsey of Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Cartoon courtesy - usj.com. ). Click for larger image.

Big Oil has the eyes, ears, mind, actions of the world’s ruling elite – also in India. (Cartoon by : David Horsey of Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Cartoon courtesy – usj.com. ). Click for larger image.

Big oil

Significant part of global politics in the last 10-15 years has been dictated by three developments. One – Oil reserves in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea. Two – Stagnant oil consumption by the West. Three – Rising oil consumption by India and China. For instance US oil consumption between 1973-2010 has grown from 17 mpd to 19 mpd – with some consumption peaks and demand  collapses.

US-Iran clash

Iran is a rival to Big Oil companies of the US and West, as a supplier of oil and gas to India. Iran can easily and cheaply transport oil from its own oil fields – as well as Central Asian production. Iran can thus completely cut out US and its oil companies from the future of oil business with India and China. Hence, the US-Iran rivalry. The Oil-Dollar Tango on which the US Economy is based for the last 30-40 years, also supports Big Oil.

US would like overland oil from Central Asia to come to India and China through Pakistan and Afghanistan – which are US client states. With this the US can cut out Iran – completely. Pakistan and Afghanistan become key gateways for oil to India and China. Hence, the power struggle in Pakistan between Army, Taliban, and the Pakistani politicians.

China's rising oil imports is supporting high oil prices. (Graphic source and courtesy - bbc.co.uk). Click for larger image.

China’s rising oil imports is supporting high oil prices. (Graphic source and courtesy – bbc.co.uk). Click for larger image.

India-Pakistan story

What will be US role, if India and Pakistan were to sit down and resolve their issues. India-Pakistan troubles in the recent past, must be seen in this light, too.

India is negotiating with a Central Asian-US Big Oil Consortium to bring gas via Afghanistan and Pakistan to India – dubbed as the TAPI pipeline. It is also in discussion with Iran and Pakistan to bring gas from Iran to India via Pakistan – commonly known as IPI pipeline.

India’s choice between IPI-TAPI is crucial – and will take another 5-10 years to resolve. In the meantime, Iran’ has an interesting point of view.

The Iranian diplomat reposed faith in the “rationality” of the Indian leadership (and it) would take the “best decision” to meet the energy needs of (an) economy aspiring to be the world’s second largest. He drew attention to Iranian export options of China and Europe other than India.

“India has to decide how to meet its energy needs. Use of nuclear energy has become questionable after the earthquake in Japan. The demand for fossil energy is bound to increase with long term nuclear power projects on hold in Europe,” sources explained.

Security was a major Indian concern — besides pricing — in the talks on the pipeline that would have been laid across the lawless Balochistan where Islamabad’s writ is non-existent in vast stretches controlled by local tribes.

If (security was a major Indian concern) then how was New Delhi in talks on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, they asked. “The (security) concerns that exist about IPI exist with TAPI in which case the source of (gas) supply is also dubious,” they averred.

Bagheri attributed the spread of terrorism in the region to the presence of Nato and US troops. “Countries like US are at the root of terrorism in the region. They first created the terrorist groups and have come to the region now on the pretext of fighting them,” he said. “Terrorism has increased since their arrival.”

He cited UN figures to claim that narcotics production went up four times and was the maximum in areas under the control of British troops in Afghanistan. (via Iran gives up on India, pursues gas pipeline with Pak – Hindustan Times).

What is New Delhi’s strategy in all this. Partly, it is increasing oil production within India. Secondly, is increasing the share of nuclear energy. Third is imports.

As usual, tough choices ahead.

Oil reserves across the world. (Graphic source and courtesy - indiadaily.org). Click for larger image.

Oil reserves across the world. (Graphic source and courtesy – indiadaily.org). Click for larger image.


Zoroastrian Pride – At what cost?

May 24, 2011 3 comments

Is it a false sense of superiority that is behind the Zoroastrian problem? Instead of feeling superior, is it time that Zoroastrians learnt something from these Hindoos, divided by caste?

Life in Parsi Colony - Cartoon by Satish Acharya.

Life in Parsi Colony - Cartoon by Satish Acharya.

The Parsis were exemplary because they stood high above the common divisiveness of caste and demonisation of The Other. We must remain a community that’s worth emulating – and worth preserving. (via Blindly into the abyss – The Times of India).

Snootiness stops you from learning

Bachi, I would not be so superior over these ‘Hindoos, divided by caste’. The same Hindus united to give shelter to your refugee forefathers, when driven away from your homeland. And before giving refuge, some 500 years earlier, to win back the lands conquered by Alexander.

Without Indian elephants corps, would the Sassanians have ruled for more than 500 years?

Staying down is defeat

Anyone in the world can have their lucky day – including Alexander!

Losing to Alexander was not the tragedy. The one important question which is ignored was “Were the Greeks able to retain their Indian or Persian conquests?”

Within the next few years, Western history admits that the Indians kings won back all their losses – quite unlike the rest of Alexander’s conquests. For instance the Sassanians, a true-blue Persian dynasty was able to retake Persia, in 223 AD, 500 years after Alexander, from Parthians, who in turn were able to depose the Seleucids after 250 years – by 63 BC. Egypt and Greece never recovered.

After the defeat and death of Cyrus The Great at the hands of Tomyris, the Persians stopped looking India-wards. 500 years later (nearly), with the help of the Indian cavalry and elephant corps, the Sassanians stopped the Romans at Persian borders in 363 AD.

Achaemenids did not learn their lessons from the death of Cyrus, the Great. Possibly, the outcome against Alexander would have been different, had they used more elephants at Gaugamela – instead of 12-15. Similarly, a 1000 years later, the Sassanian army, had forgotten their lessons – and could not use their few elephants to full effect, against the Islāmic Arabs.

But, the Sassanian dynasty was able to wrest back and defend Persian dominions from the Greco-Romans, after setting up an elephants corps in their army – evidenced, for instance, by the carvings at Taq-i-Bustan.

At one time, the Sassanian rulers had increased its Indian war elephant corps to 12,000.

Of an Edwardian India  By SILLOO MEHTA (Image courtesy - Copyright © 2011, The Hindu.). Click for larger image.

Benefits of collaboration? When life in a Parsi household was lived at a leisurely pace ... Of an Edwardian India By SILLOO MEHTA (Image courtesy - Copyright © 2011, The Hindu.). Click for larger image.

Entrepreneurs or Collaboration?

Is it the entrepreneurship of Homi Mody that you are proud of?

Or his collaboration with the British? Can it be Homi Mody’s adulation and admiration of the British?

October 28th 1933.

On that day, the Bombay Mill Owners Association signed the Lees-Mody Pact. This earned all Indian industrialists, Nehru’s distrust. The British had succeeded once again in divide-and-rule.

While the whole country was on a boycott of British goods (specially Lancashire), 21 businessmen led by Homi Mody (father of Russi Mody, Piloo Mody) agreed to a system of ‘imperial preferences’ – which furthered India’s impoverishment. Earlier, Homi Mody had warned Gandhiji against the renewing the swaraj movement.

Homi Mody had his own political ambitions. After Independence, Nehru did try and make up with Homi Mody. Homi Mody was also included in to India’s Constituent Assembly – even though he had served the British well.

Or is it the wealth from opium trade with China by Parsi traders who set up their offices in Hong Kong that you are proud of? Or the collaboration in the opium trade (and slavery) on which the British Empire was built. Not that Parsis were not the only collaborators. Remember these Hindus traders, divided by caste, restricted by shubh labh compunctions played a lesser role (compared to the European and Parsi traders) in this opium trade.

Even during Alexander’s conquest of Persia, witness the complete collaboration that Alexander got from the defeated Achaemenid ruling family of Sisygambis, Stateira, Oxathres (brother of Darius III; also written as Oxoathres and Oxyathres) et al. But, at Indian North-West of the foursome Bessos, Spitamenes, Datafernes and the Scythians made Alexander’s life miserable. At Gaugamela, it was Bessos and his cavalry which broke Alexander’s formation.

The tribes and kshatrapas (satraps) of Indian North West swath, delayed Alexander for nearly three years – before he could step into India. In India, Alexander had to pay the King of Taxiles, Omphis, (Ambi) 1000 talents of gold (more than 25 tons of gold) – to secure an alliance. He had to return the kingdom of Punjab to Porus – purportedly, after winning the battle.

What were Alexander’s loot and pickings from India? Negligible.

SKETCH OF PARSI COUPLE BY MOKSHA; Posted on SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2008. Click for larger image.

SKETCH OF PARSI COUPLE BY MOKSHA; Posted on SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2008. Click for larger image.

Bactra – Bharat-ah …

Of course, India is not what India calls itself.

Bharat(ah) and aryavart are the more common names. Bactra is the Greek pronunciation (possibly) of Bharat(ah). Till about 8th century BC, Zoroastrians were based in Iran.

Within a few years, after the fall of Zoroastrian Sassanian kingdom, under persecution by the Islāmic conquerors, in Persia, the first set of Zoroastrians made their way back to  India. Over the next 200 years, from 8th century to 10th century, the Zoroastrians returned to Bactra  – Bharat(ah).

This false sense of superiority is what is behind the Zoroastrian problem. Just like all Parsis are not drug dealers or British collaborators, Hindus don’t deserve negative tags. Factually bad and misplaced in terms of etiquette, you should take a 2ndlook at this caste tag.

Instead of feeling superior, it is time that Zoroastrians learnt something from these Hindoos, divided by caste.


The shadow of oil

Middle East Politics (from Coming apart, coming together By Edward R. Kantowicz; Page 165; courtesy - books.google.com). Click to go to source.

Middle East Politics (from Coming apart, coming together By Edward R. Kantowicz; Page 165; courtesy - books.google.com). Click to go to source.

Is the USA like Britain was a hundred years ago? (Caroon courtesy - mpg50.com.). Click for larger image.

Is Pax Americana like Britain was a hundred years ago? (Cartoon courtesy - mpg50.com.). Click for larger image.

Fat and lazy

Between 1875-1935, Britain was dependent on India for gunpowder, on USA and Iran for  oil, on Malaya and India for rubber. British economy had grown fat and uncompetitive – unlike Italian, German and Japanese economies.

Even though Britain won WWII, their economy was a lost cause. Though Germany, Italy and Japan were losers, with their economy in shambles, they could make a brilliant recovery and vastly out-compete Britain.

The story of Middle East oil is similar for USA and West. The Welfare State, built on a diet of cheap oil, easy dollars,  is now too expensive for the West to sustain. The above book extract gives an excellent snapshot of the oil industry in the 20th century.

And the shadow of oil on the 21st century.

The IPI-TAPI Story

December 31, 2010 3 comments

Soon after 26/11, before David Headley-Tahawwur Rana revealation, a 2ndlook reader indicated US complicity in Mumbai attacks.

A Pakistani Cartoon.

A Pakistani Cartoon.

The Pakistani jihad in Kashmir

For many years India has been negotiating with Iran and Pakistan for a gas pipeline through Pakistan for conveying Iran gas – usually referred to as IPI gas pipeline – $7.4 billion (Rs. 33,374 crore) Iran-Pakistan-India 2,300km gas pipeline project. Iran and Pakistan threatened to go ahead with China instead. Seems like an empty threat.

Soon after 26/11, a reader of the 2ndlook pointed out that biggest beneficiaries of 26/11 was possibly China and the West. So would be the Central Asian oil producers. After 26/11, the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline  was a dead duck. He speculated that the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), a 1,044-mile pipeline, would be a clear winner. It seemed so outlandish at that time – but it has actually happened. By the way, India attended the first TAPI summit held at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in April 2008.

Some interesting parallels

The point man for the sponsors of the Mumbai 26/11 attack was David Coleman Headley – a CIA agent – the brains behind the 26/11 attack. After 26/11, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) oil/gas pipeline was in jeopardy. Even before that as India and the USA were readying the world for a nuclear deal, the last meeting on the IPI pipeline between Iran, Pakistan and India happened in July 2007.

Instead, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) is being pushed by the Americans. Now all this would have been unremarkable – except that a 2ndlook reader predicted this turn of events 2 year ago.For many years India has been negotiating with Iran and Pakistan for a gas pipeline through Pakistan for conveying Iran gas – usually referred to as IPI gas pipeline. Who wins. Many think it is China.

Are we just getting some bedtime stories?

Are we just getting some bedtime stories?

With India fixated on Pakistan how much does our security apparatus think of the West being the conspirators behind this attack? Two years after the 26/11 attack, this rather curious post appeared in Times of India.


The cost of American attention

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment
President Gerald R. Ford and the Shah of Iran confer over a map during the Shah's May 1975 visit to Washington, D.C. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sits in the background. (Photo courtesy of Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library)

President Gerald R. Ford and the Shah of Iran confer over a map during the Shah's May 1975 visit to Washington, D.C. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sits in the background. (Photo courtesy of Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library)

Gratitude – the heaviest burden

Policy mavens in India, the print and visual media, all ‘gratefully’ acknowledge US role in the de-hyphenation of India and Pakistan. Indians have also become grateful to the USA, for ‘allowing’ India to play a role in Afghanistan.

So, India was at pains to justify its own policy, when Obama called on India to re-look at support to the regimes in Iran and Myanmar (Obama still calls it Burma).

India would do well to look at some facts and history. I will not use the indefensible and well-known US record in Pakistan.

Look back in anger

Instead, let us look at Iran itself. Shri Obamaji, can you without cringing, recall American involvement in Iran? Iran, under the Shah of Iran? A more totalitarian and repressive regime the people of Iran have not seen. A regime that the US installed, supported, promoted and shoved down the throats of Iranians.

Regime change

Are you forgetting Chile-General Pinochet, Bhai Obama? The military junta of Chile, that the USA supported, promoted, aided, propped up – and installed. After murdering the democratically elected President of Chile. Hint – his name was Salvador Allende. Choosing between Chile’s generals, the Shah of Iran and the Myanmarese junta is a no-brainer. Lessons we don’t need, Shri Obama? At least, not from America!

India may soon have a nuclear China, Pakistan, Iran at its borders. (Cartoonist - Patrick Chappatte in "International Herald Tribune"; cartoon courtesy - sinotrading.us). Click for larger image.

India may soon have a nuclear China, Pakistan, Iran at its borders. (Cartoonist - Patrick Chappatte in "International Herald Tribune"; cartoon courtesy - sinotrading.us). Click for larger image.

Oh! And by the way

You should know something about Afghanistan. Something which your State Department probably has not informed you.

India and Afghanistan was India.Till the British Raj lost Afghanistan.

Americans and Obama do no favor to India by accepting India’s interest, role and influence in Afghanistan. We Indians still remember that Afghanistan was an essential part off India – as do the Afghans. Without taking recourse to Ashoka, Mauryans and the Gupta kingdoms, which ruled over Afghanistan. Indian TV shows still rule over Afghanistan.

From 14th-18th century, it was the Afghan Indians who ruled over North India and Delhi. Ranjit Singh’s Sikh kingdom ruled over Afghanistan till about 170 years ago.

Coming back to Iran

Any regime is better than the American-installed Shah’s misrule. The reactionary Islamic regime in Iran is a result of the US-sponsored nightmare under the Shah. Some 30 years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini, returning from exile, seemed like deliverance, after the Shah fled Iran.

The cost of American attention and lessons of Pakistan are not lost. The people of Iran, I am sure, will do well without American attention. I have no doubt that the pendulum of politics in Iran will swing towards sanity and balance – soon. Unlike Pakistan, an American client-State.

Americans and Bourbons – learn nothing , forget nothing

What I seriously doubt is the American ability to learn or forget. The USA cannot forget Haiti, or learn from the Cuba. Even 200 years after Haiti’s independence. And a 100 years after America failed to ‘purchase’ Cuba.

Af-Pak strategy in smithereens?

April 7, 2010 1 comment
Are we missing something here?

Are we missing something here?

After the US-Pakistan “strategic bonhomie” in Washington last month … India finds itself placed on the historical “backburner” again, a situation similar to 1947. The additional American aid and military hardware promised to Pakistan recently is really a tactical move by the US to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011, leaving Pakistan and the “good Taliban” to supervise the return of religious fundamentalism in AfPak, which will then export terror globally. The increased numbers of Pakistani troops along India’s borders in end March, and daily gun battles with the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba in Kashmir, are indicators of the things to come.

US President Barack Obama, who got his healthcare bill passed on March 21, 2010, and reached an agreement on the 30 per cent nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia on March 26, now has only three more items on his list to ensure that he gets re-elected as President in 2012: withdrawal of American forces from the disastrous war in Afghanistan; revitalising the American economy; and “firm action” against Iran. The $750 billion US defence budget could then be reduced by $300 billion and this “saving” could be ploughed back into the ailing US economy, while leaving a couple of billions to pay Pakistan annually, to “police” AfPak.

In January 2010, Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani gave a 62-slide power-point presentation at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) headquarters in Brussels, which convinced the audience that he could help get Nato out of Afghanistan, provided Pakistan’s strategic concerns are met. On January 28, 2010, at the London Conference, Britain and America supported Gen. Kayani’s theory that “Pakistan needs to be the lead player in the Taliban reconciliation process”. (via Is PM up for some plainspeak? | Deccan Chronicle).

Connecting dots

It may not be so easy for Iran to get away!

It may not be so easy for Iran to get away!

Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh (Retd. Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief – Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam) captures this interesting snap-shot of the current impasse that India may have painted itself into. The threat of India-Pakistan re-hyphenation, the rise of Pakistan in Afghanistan are all viable propositions. More than that,

The Obama administration seems to have taken India for granted, while giving Pakistan the opportunity to have cordial relationships with three competing nations viz. US, China and Iran. After the expected Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan, China (which has invested $3.5 billion in a copper mine there) will need Pakistan-backed Taliban’s assistance to “pacify” Afghanistan, to ensure that it gets unhindered access to that nation’s mineral wealth. Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent backing of the “good Taliban” and Beijing visit is an indication of China’s growing role in the region. In essence, Pakistan, in addition to getting “strategic depth”, financial aid and military gifts, will now be “re-hyphenated” with India, while China sits on the high “G2 table” with the US, and Iran benefits from its gas exports to Pakistan.

Leaving India licking their lips.

Iran – India’s options

After making some important points, the post ends on disquieting note. Maybe semantic quibbling, or may be a reflection of current mental position that establishment maybe into. Singh states,

stepping into an unfamiliar strategic environment where great powers (eg. China and US) only respect a decisive nuclear weapons power which displays a combination of strategic vision, political will, economic power and military capability. It is time for India to stand tall. Good relations with China and US should be achieved without appearing to kneel.

The operating phrase here is that India should not be “appearing” to kneel. You can kneel – but make sure that no one sees you kneel.

Is that what you are saying, Shri Singh?

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