Iran: India's Gateway to Central Asia

Meena Singh Roy is Research Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • November 2012

    Most of the discourses on India–Iran relations are either focused on cultural and civilisational links with Iran or its relevance as an energy-rich nation. Its transit potential in providing India with access to Central Asia has not received adequate attention. While there is a general acceptance that Iran provides India with access to Central Asia, what is little known and thus not analysed is the question: to what extent has India been able to realise Iran's transit potential and what are the major bilateral, regional and international challenges faced by both these countries for realising that potential? The article argues that despite Iran's geostrategic location as well as regional complexities, the Iran–US standoff, security challenges and lack of adequate economic resources constrain India's efforts to maximise the potential offered by the various land, sea and rail routes connecting India to the Eurasian region through Iran. A new thrust by all regional partners supported by international agencies to revive old links and build new corridors therefore becomes necessary.