A characteristic feature of Indian foreign policy is its multi-vector nature. By establishing relations with China and normalizing with the main regional adversary, Pakistan, New Delhi maintains ties with Russia and develops with Israel, the United States, Iran and the Arabian monarchies, Afghanistan, the states of Central Asia and Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. India’s partners balance each other, and New Delhi balances between them, taking advantage of their contradictions.
One of the most illustrative examples of this is the cooperation of India with the United States, Israel and Iran. It is successfully developing, while Tehran exports to India the hydrocarbons it needs, its main ideological adversary is developing the high-tech industry and supplying weapons and military equipment, and Jerusalem’s strategic ally, Washington, acts as the main investor while competing with it in the MTC area.
India - Israel
The Republic of India and the State of Israel were founded with a difference of less than a year (in August 1947-th and May 1948-th, respectively). Gandhi and Nehru opposed the creation of Israel. November 29 1947 at the UN General Assembly India voted against the partition of Palestine. After the recognition of Israel in 1950, Delhi did not establish diplomatic relations with him, although in 1952, it was allowed to open an Israeli consulate in Bombay.
It should be noted that the contacts of the special services of the two countries were established earlier than the official interstate ones. India established 29 on January 1992 on full diplomatic relations with Israel. The reasons for this:
the collapse of the USSR and the disappearance of its pressure on the foreign policy of India;
the beginning of a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian problem;
the growing influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BDP), which reduced the impact of the Islamic (including Arab) factor on the internal politics of India;
the need for new international partners and arms suppliers;
interest in Israel as a conductor of building relations with the United States.
India is Israel’s third largest trade partner in Asia at the expense of the precious stones trade. Communications are developed in science, technology and agriculture, where joint ventures are created in irrigation, water resources distribution and agricultural production.
The leadership of the Indian National Congress, interested in Muslim voters, who traditionally vote for the INC, treats Israel with restraint. The left parties, especially the Marxist Communist, are openly hostile to the Jewish state. Cooperation with Israel is currently reinforcing the ideology of the ruling BDP: organized groups of supporters of Indian nationalism - Hindutwas, including the political wing, have supported Israel as an ally in the fight against the Islamic world since the 40s.
MTC between countries was established at the start of the 90-x. The initiative came from the Indian side. Military ties expanded significantly in 1998 after the BDP party came to power and reached the current level by the year 2005. In 2004, tensions arose in interstate relations with the return to power of the Indian National Congress, but this did not affect military cooperation.
India is one of the largest importers of Israeli military products. VTS is completely commercial. From 2002 to 2007, New Delhi bought more than five billion dollars worth of weapons from Jerusalem. In 2007 – 2013, the value of Israel’s military exports to India was 2,344 billion, while in 2014 – 2017, it is estimated at 2,613 billion. At the end of 2014, Israel ranked fourth (after the United States, Russia, and France) in Indian military imports.
The success of the Israelis is due to their willingness to transfer the latest weapons and advanced technology without reservations and restrictions and the development of bilateral production and design cooperation. A plus is also the experience of modernizing samples of the Soviet and Russian weapons and military equipment, which are in service with India. In addition, the prices offered by the supplier staged New Delhi. Additional arguments were the lack of mutual claims, common interests in the field of national security (hostile environment and terrorist threats), the similarity of climatic and geographical conditions.
In Israel, they believe that the disadvantage in transactions with India is the transfer of production technologies to it, but without this, the conclusion of contracts is impossible. For such major Israeli military-technical companies as Elbit, Raphael and Taasiya Avirit, India has become one of the most important sources of income.
An example of cooperation is the ship’s Barak-8 medium-range air defense system. In Israel they say: without Indian financial participation, this most important system, which has export potential, would not have come into being. At the same time in 2006, six years after the signing of the Barak contract, the Central Bureau of Investigation of India opened a case of bribes that could affect the decision of the Minister of Defense.
The issues of bilateral military-technical cooperation are dealt with by the Indian-Israeli intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation. The parties maintain regular contacts through the Ministries of Defense. Of great importance was the visit to India last February by the head of the Israeli military department, M. Ya'alon - the first since 1992 of the year. As a result, a number of transactions and contracts that were in a frozen state, were implemented or reached the finish line. So, with the Indian side, the terms of the transaction for the sale of two DRLO and U planes and four balloons equipped with radar are specified. The contract amount is 1,5 billion dollars.
The two countries are developing cooperation in the training of military personnel. Joint programs for the combat training of troops are being developed. Israel implements over 30 programs for the supply of weapons and military equipment for India. The largest are contracts for radar EL / M-2032 Green Pine, which are part of the Arrow-2 air defense system, DRLO and U Falcon airplanes, Spyder air defense system, Heron-1 and Sercher-II UAVs , “Barak” air defense missile system and anti-aircraft guided missiles to them in the ship and land variants.
India is one of the main buyers of Israeli intelligence drones. Countries intend to continue joint work on the creation of UAVs based on Heron and Sercher II vehicles. A Barak II NG anti-aircraft missile system with missile defense capabilities is being jointly developed, submarine projects and the creation of frontier "electronic fences" are underway. A joint version of the Shilka ZSU-2015-23 upgrade was presented at the Aero India-4 exhibition. It is assumed that this will extend the life of the Indian "Shilok" 15 years.
The Bharat Forge company, together with the Israeli Rafael, is offering the Indian Army a modernization kit for about 1250 BMP-2s. Israeli equipment is installed on tanks T-72 and Su-30 fighters. New Delhi has refused to acquire the Iron Dome missile defense system and the missile defense system to intercept the David's Sling medium-range ballistic missiles, but has approved the development of a national missile defense system with Israeli companies.
India is putting pressure on Israel to speed up the LRSAM (Long Range Surface to Air Missile) project for the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya. The project started in 2005 year, its cost amounted to 600 million dollars. The equipment should have been put into operation in 2012, but so far the tests are underway.
Israeli weapons successfully compete with Western ones. So, India abandoned the Javelin American ATGM, having purchased the Rafael Spike anti-tank missile system: the 8356 UR, the 321 launcher and the 15 simulators for 525 million dollars.
Competing with Israel, the United States achieved (in 2003) the termination of an agreement on the sale of its Arrow anti-missile complex to India, although it approved the Phalcon air warning and control system (AWACS) deal. The possibility of supplying an American UAV to India is dangerous for Israel.
The main areas of cooperation between Israel and India, along with military technology are biotechnology, health, education, space exploration, nuclear energy, information technology, environmental protection, the study of artificial materials. Co-funded training programs for Indian students in computerization and information technology. Israel trains Indian specialists in graduate schools with the condition that, having defended dissertations, they will work for several years in its research centers. Valid for 50 programs that allow Indian scientists to visit Israel. New Delhi funds travels of Israeli scientists to India, including flights. The programs of master classes (more than 100) are being taught by Israeli groups of Indian groups - more than 30 people in each.
In the field of biotechnology, New Delhi relies on the Jewish state as one of its main partners. Israeli firms work with companies in Bangalore and Hyderabad. One area of collaborative research is biofuel. In the space activities of the country cooperate in the field of inertial systems, satellites for deep intelligence and the development of communications.
India - USA
India’s relations with the United States have remained fairly cool for half a century. The main reason was Washington’s support for Pakistan, while Moscow was the main ally of Delhi in the confrontation of the superpowers. In fact, the current US-India rapprochement process began in 2000 with the visit of US President Bill Clinton to New Delhi. His course was continued by the Republican administration of George W. Bush. The democrats who came to power in 2008 did not seek to develop the Indian theme, but during the second term of President Barack Obama, it again became relevant. The impetus was the strengthening of China, which was evaluated in the United States and India as the main threat to their national interests.
This rapprochement did not depend on the party affiliation of the country's leadership. Launched by the government of Vajpaya, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party, it was continued by the cabinet of Manmohan Singh (INC) and the current government of Narendra Damodardas Modi (BDP). However, convergence is complicated by problems in economics and politics. New Delhi is dissatisfied with the restrictions imposed by Washington on the purchase of IT technologies and the entry of Indian programmers to America, as well as the uncertainty of the White House’s position on the Kashmir issue and the prospects for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The United States, in turn, believes that India’s economy is not open enough for foreign investment.
Country relations can be jeopardized due to such issues as the incident with the diplomat Deviyane Khobragade in December 2013. In response to allegations of fraud when she signed up for a US maid to work in the United States, India demanded that the commercial activities in the country of the Club of the Association of American Citizens should cease. From the US Embassy in Delhi removed the barriers installed after the September 11 attacks. Diplomats were deprived of immunity from fines, credentials were taken away from them, for which privileges were granted at the airport. An investigation was launched into the working conditions of local citizens in American institutions and families. According to the Hindustan Times newspaper, India has postponed the energy dialogue with the United States and the visit of the American Energy Minister Ernest Moniz to the country.
The personal factor also influences American-Indian relations: in 2005, the acting Prime Minister N. Modi was banned from entering the United States because of his accusation of inaction during the “Gujarati pogrom” of 2002. However, assessing the situation, N. Unnikrishnan, Vice-President of the Observer Research Foundation, said: “Despite a personal offense, Modi cannot afford confrontation with the United States for economic reasons. America is the main business partner of India. The trade turnover between the two countries is 100 billion dollars ... To implement infrastructure projects such as Modi’s creation of a unified system of Indian rivers, we need trillion investments that can only come from the United States. ”
After the inauguration, President Obama suggested that Prime Minister Modi hold a bilateral summit in September 2014, during his five-day trip to the United States at the UN General Assembly meeting. In the election campaign, Modi emphasized that he had no personal hostility towards the United States and intended to build strong partnerships with Washington on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. During the visit, the Indian prime minister spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations, talked with a group of leaders of leading American companies, spoke with B. Obama twice, and Clinton once with the couple.
Following these meetings, it is planned to develop cooperation in the energy sector, the fight against climate change, health care, high technology and space exploration. In the field of security, the passage addressed to China is a joint statement on ensuring freedom of navigation in accordance with international law and the stated intention to continue the Malabar Indo-American naval exercises. The development of relations with the United States gives India room for maneuver in relations with China, Russia, the EU and Japan.
Note that N. Modi combined the activities of the Ministries of Defense and Finance under a single management. One of the main goals is to solve the problem of the permissible level of foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as to simplify the procedure for attracting them to the economy as a whole and to the military-industrial complex in particular. The restrictions on the FDI level in the military-industrial complex and corruption are attributed to the delay in 20 – 30 years of defense programs and the preservation of the 65-percentage of imports in equipment purchased by the Ministry of Defense for the Indian Armed Forces. According to the plans of the Ministry of Finance, the procedure for attracting FDI to the military-industrial complex up to 49 will be bypassing state structures. Reconciliation will require only the excess of this share in the capital of companies. In the future, American Boing and Lockheed Martin may become buyers of the Indian military industrial complex.
India - Iran
At the end of the Pahlavi regime, Delhi was an important partner of Tehran. The country came in first place (among developing) in Iranian imports and the third in exports, leading in the procurement of oil and petroleum products. Iran helped India create the first modern refinery in Madras. After the Islamic Revolution, when Iran’s trade with the West fell, developing countries, including India, took its place. In the era of President Khatami (1997 – 2005), state relations were a strategic partnership, as reflected in the Tehran Declaration of 2001. The turnover reached three billion dollars.
However, due to cooperation with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, India has moved away from a strategic partnership with Iran. In 2005, she voted for the IAEA anti-Iran resolution and supported UN sanctions. US support in 2006 of the Indian nuclear program led to the country's withdrawal from the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. The meeting in 2012 of Ayatollah A. Khamenei and Prime Minister M. Singh showed that there were serious disagreements. Among other things, it slowed down the implementation of the North-South transport corridor project. Fell and trading performance.
In 2010, India stopped payments to Iran through the Asian Clearing Union and refused to pay for oil in hard currency. The balance of trade in favor of Iran led to the formation of India’s debt in 8,8 billion dollars (two thirds was paid off at the end of 2014). India is the second largest buyer of Iranian oil after China, although it imported 2010 thousand barrels of Iranian oil a day in 2011 – 370, 2014 thousands in 2015 – 220, and 2015 thousands in February.
Iranian President H. Rouhani seeks to intensify cooperation with India, in which almost 15 percent of Shiites in the world live. An important object of cooperation may be the seaport in the south-east of Iran at the Pakistan border. The corresponding agreement was signed during the Khatami presidency. The port will be focused on export-import operations of India with the countries of Central Asia through the railway and road network of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The project is implemented within the framework of the Chahbahar free economic zone.
An Indo-Iranian plant for the production of urea (urea) with a capacity of 1,3 million tons per year will be built here. India intends to invest in it 800 million dollars. For New Delhi, the project in Chahabar is the answer to the Chinese presence at the port of Gwadar in Pakistan’s Balochistan. The United States, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recommend India not to rush to invest in Iran. Beijing is offering Tehran 70 million euros for the right to participate in the reconstruction of the port and buy out 35 – 40 percent of its shares.
New Delhi supported Tehran at the UN in 2014 on voting on a resolution on human rights in Iran. India was against it, as 93 had a percentage of death sentences in Iran for drug smuggling. On the eve of the lifting of sanctions, in April 2015 of the year, negotiations were held in Tehran to discuss India’s investments in Iran’s energy projects and its participation in the development of the Farzad B gas field. At the same time, the prospects for restoring the pre-sessional level of cooperation among countries are still dim.