How does Iran view India?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 18, 2020 05:31 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 18, 2020 05:31 AM

Iran views India as a important strategic and economic partner. This is because of the following ties that they share:

Cultural Ties:

Iran means “the land of Aryans” in old Persian, while India’s ancient name Āryāvarta, also means “the land of Aryans in Sanskrit. In both Persian and Hindi, Aryan means noble, and has nothing to do with the Nazi ideology.

This is just one example of the cultural exchange that have been between the two countries. Persian and Hindi are also closely related as they belong to the Indo-Iranian language family, which is a subgroup of the Indo-European language family.

This is a map of all countries, where Indo-Iranian languages, are spoken by a majority, and together the languages are spoken by 1.6 billion people as their mother tongue.

Besides this, India is the country with the largest Shia Muslims population in the world, after Iran. So the two countries also have some religious ties.

The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, praying in a mosque in Hyderabad in India, in unity with Indian Muslims, February 15th 2018.

Historical Ties

Currently, there are more than 70.000 Parsi’s in India, which are of Iranian origin. Parsi means Persian. The Parsi’s that are Zoroastrian in faith, emigrated from Iran to India in the 7th century, following the Islamic conquest of Iran. They did so, because Zoroastrianism was prohibited in Iran so they were prosecuted, but in India they were granted religious freedom.

It’s a huge tragedy, that the Parsi’s were treated as dirt and second class citizens in Iran, as they were a very innovative and bright people. But it were also a great sign of humanity, they were accepted and welcomed in the Indian society.

Some notable Parsi’s includes:

Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queens,
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, or Sam Bahadur the architect of India’s victory in the 1971 war, was the first officer of the Indian Army to be appointed a Field Marshal.
Homi J. Bhabha, a famous nuclear physicist, known as “the father of the Indian nuclear program”, and founder of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Jamshedji Tata, the founder of Tata Steel, that is the largest Indian Steel Company, and the world 5th largest steel company. He is also regarded as “the father of modern Indian industry”. He also formed Tata Group, that had a total revenue of 100 billion USD, in 2017.
Economical Ties

Iran is the second largest supplier of crude oil to India, and as India industrializes further, it’s going to have an even larger demand. That’s why India is planning to double Iranian oil import within one year, and are one of the largest foreign investors in Iran’s oil and gas industry.

In 2017 the Chabahar port was expanded on Iran’s southeastern coast, with help from the Indian government. The Chabahar port will provide an alternative route for India to Afghanistan and central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.

The Chabahar port is also rival to the Pakistani “Gwadar” port, that is being built with help by China. Besides that, the Chabahar Port reduces India’s dependence on Pakistan, for trade with Afghanistan and it’s related neighbouring states. This deepened Iran and India’s economic and political ties.

Iran has huge natural resources: Iran has the worlds second largest natural gas reserve in the world, and the fourth largest oil reserve in the world. Combined, only Russia has more natural gas and oil in the world than Iran. This is one of the reasons why India is one of the largest foreign investors in Iran’s oil and gas sector.

On February 18th, the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, met with the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.

Both leaders held substantive and productive discussion on cooperation in trade and investment, energy, connectivity, defence and security and regional issues.

-Raveesh Kumar, the Indian external affairs spokesperson

So I would say that Iran and India have very deep ties, given their shared history and culture, but the two nations also share many views, regarding the region’s future. Last but not least, India and Iran are also great trade partner’s and will probably be even more so in the future.

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