Document Type : Original Article
Ph.D. Student of International Studies, University of Jawaharlal Nehru
Professor, of International Studies , University of Jawaharlal Nehru
Most of the discourses on India–Iran relations are either focused on cultural and civilization links with Iran, or its relevance as an energy-rich nation. Its transit potential in providing India with access to Central Asia has not received adequate attention. While there is a general acceptance that Iran provides India with access to Central Asia, what is little known and thus not analysed is the question: to what extent has India been able to realise Iran's transit potential and what are the major bilateral, regional and international challenges faced by both of these countries for realising that potential? The hypothesis is; Due to its growing economy and the increasing need for energy and access to energy sources and markets in central Asia and Afghanistan, India competes with China and Pakistan on the International North-South transport corridor, which is way more reliable and less costly.Now given its potential and special position, Iran is India’s gateway to reach its goals in Eurasia and Afghanistan. The article argues that despite Iran's geostrategic location as well as regional complexities, the Iran–US standoff, security challenges and lack of adequate economic resources, constrain India's efforts to maximise the potential offered by the INSTC land, sea and rail routes connecting India to the Eurasian region through Iran. A new thrust by all regional partners supported by international agencies to revive old links and build new INSTC corridors therefore becomes necessary.