Political tensions and rivalry between Iran and Israel have cast a shadow over India's bilateral relations with both these countries.
In the two decades since the end of the Cold War, the Islamic Republic of Iran has emerged as one of the two most debated, contested and commented upon foreign policy issues in India.
The American inability to provide effective leadership in the Middle East is a sufficient incentive for Indian defiance over unilateral oil sanctions against Iran. Yes, this defiance has difficulties and problems, but it is worth the price to assert India’s independent foreign policy making.
The growing violence and regional unpopularity of the Assad regime forced India to give up its erstwhile silence on Syria and vote against it both in the Security Council and General Assembly.
Having rejected the western demand for oil sanctions, the real test for the Indian government lies in whether it can implement its public pronouncement.
While, violence, extremism and short-sighted leadership have buried Oslo, it still remains the only option for the Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Until I met Diana, the South Asian Diaspora in the Middle East meant six million Indians, $50 billion in annual remittances and the problems of evacuation during crises. Diana put a human face to that understanding.
While erstwhile authoritarianism and absolutist rule may no longer be possible, it would be naïve to expect that the Middle East will undergo a metamorphosis.
By establishing an organized process of selection and factoring in contingencies, King Abdullah is hoping for a smooth and orderly transition. But age and health are not on his side and the current wave of political unrest in the region has only complicated the challenges facing him.