This is how President Donald Trump has emerged out to be worst nightmare for India: Report

This is how President Donald Trump has emerged out to be worst nightmare for India: Report

WASHINGTON - The US President Donald Trump has turned out to be a worst nightmare for India.

Trump's policies, first towards Russia and now Iran, are causing anxieties in New Delhi. Russia is among the biggest exporters of military hardware to India, and Iran the third largest supplier of oil to India. Together, they are crucial for India's defence and energy security, DNA has reported.

But the recent US sanctions on Russia are making it difficult for Indian banks to make payments to Russian state-owned arms manufacturers.

India holds a similar dilemma on the issue of Iran as well. Any instability in what India sees as its extended neighbourhood will have implications for New Delhi. Disruption of oil imports from Iran will be an immediate worry.

Between April 2017 and January this year, Iran was India's third largest supplier of crude oil after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The mode of payment for the imported oil is another concern as banks would be reluctant to route payments to Iran because of the fear of inviting an adverse reaction from the US.

India is also invested in developing the Chabahar port in Iran. It is of immense strategic importance for both, India and landlocked Afghanistan.

The other connectivity project of interest to India is the international north-south transport corridor linking India with Central Asia and Russia via Iran.

In fact, this was a major point of discussion during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to India in February 2018.

The joint statement issued towards the end of his visit said, "The two leaders agreed on the deepening trade and investment cooperation between the two countries. In this context, they recognised the need to put in place an effective banking channel for business transactions. It was noted that permission for the Iranian Pasargad Bank to open a branch in India was under advance consideration. It was also agreed to set up a joint committee of officials to examine feasible options, including Rupee-Rial arrangement, Asian clearing union mechanism to establish functional payment channels."

India lost a decade in its relations with Iran after voting against it in the international atomic energy agency in 2005. Iran retaliated immediately by cancelling a deal for selling liquefied natural gas or LNG to India.

It was only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power that the ties began to look up. But, if the Iran nuclear deal unravels, West Asia may face new problems, which could potentially create a new global crisis at India's doorstep.