Thursday, August 06, 2015

Fwd: Iran Helps India Sidestep China in Race for Asian Gas Riches

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From: Capt
August 7, 2015 — 12:00 AM IST

Anyone looking for the biggest immediate impact from Iran's nuclear deal may want to turn away from the Middle East and toward the Indian subcontinent.

With U.S. sanctions easing, India is racing to build a port in Iran that will get around the fact that its land access to energy-rich former Soviet republics in Central Asia has been blocked by China and its ally Pakistan.

"We're seeing the latest manifestation of the Great Game in Central Asia, and India is the new player," said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "It's had its eyes on Central Asia for a long time."

While the world focuses on what Iran's opening means for Israel and Arab nations, the ramifications are also critical for Asia. Closer Iran-India ties would allow New Delhi's leaders to secure cheaper energy imports to bolster economic growth and reduce the influence of both China and Pakistan in the region.

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