Recently, very clear evidence has come to light that the US imperialists are determined to extract a high price for their offer of a “strategic alliance” with the Indian state. Shortly after the deal on “civilian nuclear energy cooperation” was signed by US President Bush and Manmohan Singh in Washington in July 2005, the Indian state had for the first time voted with the US imperialists and their allies to censure Iran – a state with which India has had friendly relations – for its nuclear energy program. At that time it was obvious to all that this turn-around in India’s foreign policy was part of the deal that had been struck with the US.
Since the nuclear deal of July 2005, negotiations on the actual technicalities of the agreement have been proceeding slowly. Currently, the negotiations appear to be centred on the “123 Agreement” that needs to be approved by the US legislature before the deal can take effect. In the meantime, the Indian state has also been carrying on its negotiations with Iran for the supply of natural gas and other long-pending projects. Now, in a clear case of arm-twisting, seven members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives have sent a letter to Manmohan Singh threatening that not just the nuclear energy deal but even the Indo-US “global partnership” will be in danger if India does not cease all military and economic relations with Iran.
The letter from the American legislators expresses strong disapproval of “India’s increasing cooperation with that country [Iran], including the exchange of visits between high-level officials, enhanced military ties, and negotiation of agreements to establish closer economic relations”. It opposes both the proposal for an Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as well as for the supply of liquefied natural gas from Iran to India. According to the letter, “the recent steps by India to enhance its economic cooperation with Iran will undermine the international community’s efforts to impose financial and other constraints on the Iranian government”. In other words, the US imperialists are trying to economically strangle Iran, just as they did to Iraq before their invasion and as they have tried to do to Cuba and other countries, so that it falls in line with the American dictate, and they are demanding that India should not do anything that helps Iran and spoils their designs.
The letter makes it very clear that the US imperialists are upset with Iran because Iran has opposed their hegemonic designs in Iraq and West Asia. “Iran’s senior officials have openly and repeatedly proclaimed their intention to undermine American interests in the Middle East and elsewhere”, and “Tehran is actively working to defeat U.S. and coalition efforts to stabilize(!) Iraq.” The letter then sarcastically says that “it is difficult to fathom” why India would want to enhance security cooperation with “a repressive government widely regarded as the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism.” This in fact sounds like an exact description of the United States today, not Iran! The letter ends with a veiled threat, saying “As you are aware, a prerequisite for peaceful nuclear cooperation is the approval by Congress of a so-called 123 Agreement. We must stress that the subject of India’s strengthening relationship with Iran will inevitably be a factor in the consideration of that Agreement when it is presented to Congress.”
The whole substance and tone of this letter is full of the blustering arrogance and blatant falsehoods that characterise the US foreign policy at the present time. It also shows the desperation of the US imperialists who find themselves caught in a mess of their own making in Iraq and elsewhere. Their attempts to completely isolate Iran as well as other countries that have come out in opposition to them are also not succeeding. So, they are hitting out at India and other countries where they feel they have some leverage. It is shameful that the UPA government has sought to make our country a “partner” of such a ruthless and vengeful imperialist power that recognizes the sovereignty and rights of no country when it comes to their own interests. The working class and people of India must give a fitting rebuff to the arrogance of the US imperialists. We must persist with the demand that the nuclear deal and “strategic allegiance” with the US be abrogated immediately.
Down with the Indo-US nuclear deal and “strategic alliance”!
Down with the imperialist pressure and blackmail on Iran!