India’s crucial diplomatic role as US-Iran tensions escalate

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    Iran retaliated strongly on Wednesday by launching over a dozen ballistic missiles on two American military facilities in Iraq. This development comes after a US drone strike killed Major General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds force.

    The Iranian Ambassador to India Ali Chengeni has welcomed any Indian effort towards de-escalation of tensions between the two former cold war allies.

    What is at stake here for India?

    Ten million Indian citizens live, work, study and conduct business in the Gulf. Their welfare should be of paramount interest to the government. In the past, successful rescue missions have been launched to evacuate stranded members of the diaspora (Yemen, Kuwait etc).

    These Indian nationals remit close to US $40 Billion out of the total US $70 billion that India receives as remittances.

    Escalating oil prices is also a pressure point as far as India is concerned. The crude oil prices breached the US $70 per barrel mark today before reducing once again. India has to closely monitor this situation and may have to dig into its strategic reserves to offset any drastic escalation of prices.

    India has in recent times, pro-actively acted on global issues and secured its interest. With our close ties with both the US and Iran, India could well play the strategic role of a catalyst in ensuring the matter gets restricted in proportion.

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