Thursday, March 10, 2005

Iran - Gas pipeline and beyond

Y'day US ambassador Mulford seems to have expressed his reservations about the Iran gas pipeline because of US concerns on Iran's nuclear program. I believe India should reject this at the out set. India's energy security cannot be held hostage to American Imperialism. India has been investing in oil resources of politically volatile countries like Sudan, Burma etc. But then we have very little options. Iran gas pipeline could be disturbed if America repeats Iraq in Iran. That will be very serious mistake on the part of US. Hence India should not be bothered about that at this stage. In any case India imports LNG from Iran. Is the US going to oppose that too. It makes perfect sense for India to acquire oil and gas from countries close to us. The proposed pipelines from Iran, Burma and Turkmenistan are very welcome and should be implemented at the earliest. We should also try and convince Bangladesh to export gas to India. On the broader scene I object to US opposition to Iran's nuclear programme. Its rumored that US will fall victim to Israeli pressure and attack Iran. I believe the question of acquiring nuclear weapons should be entirely based on a Country's own discretion. NPT or any other treaty meddling with that is plain hypocritical. Consider the irony of US sitting on thousands of nuclear weapons (and fast becoming a security threat to every country in the world), advising Iran to abandon its Nuclear programme. Remember this was a similar situation with India before. They all bullied us against becoming a nuclear weapon state. Iran has a very legitimate right to acquire nuclear weapons. Its been threatened by America and Israel for several decades now. US troops now surround it from all sides. Iraq, Qatar, Afghanistan,Pakistan and Diego Garcia. It also faced hostile Saddam Hussein in a war for twenty years. Its a shame that it has not acquired Nuclear weapons yet. Having said all this, I object to its not so clear position on its nuclear policy. It says its program is peaceful but may be secretly developing nuclear weapons. It ofcourse got clandestine support from Pakistan for its nuclear program. India repeatedly exposed Pakistan's dubious Nuclear record but no one listened to us. Later they claimed having 'busted' A Q Khan's gang. Who are they trying to fool? Iran should immediately make its intentions clear and should go ahead with its Nuclear programme. What is India's role in this regard? India should stand by Iran and should not play into the hands of the US. But it should be careful about its nuclear scientists leaking information to Iran (two were accused by US sometime back). Let Iran develop its own nuclear weapons and develop they must!

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