Almost 10 years after an Indian consortium won the bid to develop the Farsi natural gas block in Iran, signs of the actual development are taking shape. Mint reports today that New Delhi has submitted a new master development plan for the block.
Over the years, India’s policy on Iran has faced two sets of pressures: on the one hand, the need to tap its vast energy reserves, and on the other, the concern that better ties with Tehran could detract from India’s friendship with the US, which has been pushing for an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It’s a delicate dance, and India has at times been on the wrong foot.
Yet, Iran can be crucial for India as it tries to diversify its energy supplies. Besides, important as ties with Washington are, they need to be balanced with India’s development needs. In this, New Delhi has done well to renew its interest in Tehran.