After having crushed the concept of the Caliphate little over 90 years ago by Kemal Ataturk, the first president of the modern-day Turkey, a renewed effort was made by a newly-founded Sunni militant group, which, today, is known by the name Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Under the leadership of the new self-proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS, also known as ‘Daesh’, was able to establish a so-called ‘caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq after capturing vast swathes of land, particularly in Iraq.
In what could be considered as a new fervour in the Indo-Iranian ties, both the countries are now likely to revive their military-security cooperation. This will add importance to the relationship which, for several years, has been based mostly on oil and energy trade due to the United States (US)-led sanctions. Although engagement in military spheres is not a new phenomenon, activities in this field came to a standstill from the mid-2000s due to certain external factors. For little more than a decade, Indo-Iranian military ties have been shelved and became dormant.
वर्ष 2016 में ईरान का बाकी दुनिया के साथ राजनीतिक और आर्थिक दोनों तरीकों से पुनर्मिलन हुआ। जनवरी में जेसीपीओए (परमाणु समझौते पर संयुक्त समग्र कार्य योजना) लागू होने के कारण ही ऐसा हो पाया। ईरान पर लगे परमाणु प्रतिबंध हटा लिए गए और वहां एक के बाद एक कई द्विपक्षीय यात्राएं हुईं, उसके राष्ट्रपति विदेश गए और दूसरे नेता ईरान पहुंचे। किंतु दोस्ती के इस माहौल में एक पहलू बिल्कुल उलट दिखता है और वह है ईरान का युद्धक प्रक्षेपास्त्र कार्यक्रम।
The year 2016 has seen Iran re-integrate with the world, both politically and economically. This is enabled by the implementation of JCPOA (Joint comprehensive plan of action or the Nuclear Deal) in January. The nuclear sanctions over Iran were withdrawn and it has seen a series of bilateral visits, both by its President abroad and by other leaders to Iran. However one aspect that stands in contrast to this environment of bonhomie and seems to go against the trend is Iran’s ballistic missile program.
In what is considered the biggest military assault against Daesh, the Iraqi army, with back up from the United States (US)-led air coalition and Iran-backed Shiite militias, recently began its operations to liberate Fallujah from this terror group. Fallujah was captured by Daesh in early January 2014. This was one of the earliest victories of this terrorist organisation which triggered its territorial expansion spree after it overpowered the Iraqi army.
The recent unfolding of events in West Asia, where the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) militants captured two strategically and historically important places, has once again showed its intent to consolidate, control and expand its territories. The fall of the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province in Iraq on 17 May, and the historic city of Palmyra in Syria on 20 May happened amidst the efforts to destroy this Sunni militant group. The victory was contrary to the claim by American officials that the ISIS was on the defensive side in Iraq.
The much-awaited nuclear breakthrough has happened again when Iran and the P5+1 countries comprising of the United States (US), Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) signed the “parameters” for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on 2 April 2015. As it was with the 2013 Geneva interim accord, this deal is considered as a “good deal” or a “historic understanding” by the US President Barack Obama. Simultaneously, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to consider the deal as a threat to Israel’s survival and to the region.
India’s relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over the last few years have been marked by various hurdles. These pertained to the unresolved payment imbroglio for the import of Iranian crude oil; inability to streamline trade between the two countries and various other issues. These limitations have cropped up ever since the United States imposed economic sanctions on Iran for its controversial nuclear programme. The sanctions have led to negative impacts on India’s overall bilateral relations with Iran.
The menace which has been created by the Sunni militant group, Islamic State (IS) is likely to stay for some time to come. Despite the United States (US)-led coalition airstrikes to destroy the terror organisation , there has been no significant decline in its activities. Rather, it is spreading to different parts of the globe and other terror groups are pledging allegiance to it.
India-Israel Ties and the New Government:
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