That makes India’s recent pronouncements seem so out-of-step and out-of-touch with the new global determination to isolate and pressure Iran to negotiate in order to avoid a catastrophic war.
There is a larger point here about India’s role in the world. For all the talk about India rising to become a global power, its government doesn’t always act like one. It is all too often focused on its own region but not much beyond it. And it very seldom provides the kind of concrete leadership on tough issues that is necessary for the smooth functioning of the international system.
The Indian government has supported the four UN Security Council resolutions passed since 2006. It says Iran should give up its nuclear ambitions. But India has not stepped up to a leadership role in the negotiations and has resisted the option of being a bridge between the Iranian government and the West. It has, instead, been largely passive and even invisible on this critical issue.
I wrote a Boston Globe column ten days ago arguing that the US should commit to an ambitious, long-term strategic partnership with India. I remain convinced of its value to both countries and to the new global balance of power being created in this century.
With its unhelpfulness on Iran and stonewalling on implementation of the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, however, the Indian government is now actively impeding the construction of the strategic relationship it says it wants with the US.