Harrowing Times for Indian Diplomacy
One minor blast in a country which has witnessed a series of violent terrorist attacks, blasts and mayhem has sent the country on a tizzy and brought it to the centre of the raging conflict between Israel, duly supported by the west, and Iran. If anything, the attack on the Israel diplomatic car denotes the fragility of India to terror manipulations severely restricting its ability to chose a pragmatic diplomatic path.
There could be a host of patrons who, having understood India’s soft stance to terror, exploited the opportunity to initiate this event. With almost all cases of terror attacks remaining unresolved in the country – this would have been easy. The list of potential suspects could be any of the many Pakistani terror groups, al Qaeda, Indian Mujahideen, SIMI and others.
Iran though stands to lose significantly in oil revenues in this era of sanctions to initiate such an act. Logically speaking it has everything to lose should India, one of the last remaining buyers of Iranian oil, were to be forced by the west and Israel to take sides against Iran based on this incident. While Israel is going gung ho about blaming Iran, without the first investigation reports, it appears unlikely that Iran would chose such an option to cut its own feet. If Hezbollah has indeed done this they have not helped the Iranian cause either.
Commentators argue that India could well become the proxy battleground for the Middle Eastern rivalries . This has accentuated the growing Indian diplomatic dilemma as it will, depending on the result of the investigation, be forced to choose between two friends: one the supplier of high end defence equipment and the other its biggest source of oil.
Theoretically speaking, we at South Asian Idea, feel that this incident has been manufactured to isolate and vilify India in its stand for sanctions against Iran. As highlighted earlier it suits any of the al Qaeda or Pakistan’s terror groups, backed by ISI, to make it look like an Iranian attempt. It gains comprehensively by getting maximum bang for the bucks. Killing innocent Indians in terror attacks has limited returns as compared to a precision terror attack with low Pakistani footprint against an Israeli target in India. Lashkar-e-Toiba tried this earlier during the Mumbai attacks by specifically attacking Jewish targets with great effect. Unfortunately that only brought India closer to Israel in countering terrorism. There are countless Jihadis who would have volunteered to do this at ISI’s behest.
Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, had said earlier this month that Iranian agents were attempting to attack Israeli targets around the world in retaliation for covert operations, including the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.
It is indeed difficult to imagine Jihadis letting this opportunity go by. If Pakistani groups have done this, they have hit bulls eye with Israel going ballistic about Iran’s involvement. Moreover as Pakistan gets closer to setting up the Iran Pakistan gas pipeline, sidelining India in Iran would be their immediate aim. This also puts the connectivity projects from Chahbahar to Iran and Bamiyan under a cloud in favour of Pakistan’s interests of isolating India in Afghanistan.
Purely from these conjectures this low yield high profile attack coinciding with Thailand, Georgia and Thailand once again, in the backdrop of Israel’s intelligence that Iran was out to attack its interests globally, was a god sent opportunity to any group or country to let go. ISI would be happy with its strategic plan of killing many a birds with one stroke and putting India in a bind.
The incident, per se, would have required minimal effort and any of the groups could have done it. It would be difficult not to prejudge the situation while the jury is still out. While it is extremely difficult to trace this attack back to Iran, India would be put under extreme pressure by Israel and the West to scale down its relations with Iran. The innovative Israeli media mechanism is already doing its best to shape world opinion against Iran based on this attack on Indian soil.
- Indian Police Searching for Bomber Who Attacked Israeli Diplomat (ibtimes.com)
- Will Delhi Bomb Attack Hamper India’s Trade Ties with Iran? (ibtimes.com)
- India and Israel: Longtime Friends, Cautious Allies (ibtimes.com)
- Despite sanctions and pressure, India set to do more business with Iran – NDTV (ndtv.com)
- Israel accuses Iran of attacks in Delhi and Tbilisi (guardian.co.uk)
- New Delhi blast hits Israeli diplomat’s car (guardian.co.uk)