India swipes at Iran on democracy but still does deals

Featured - August 31st, 2012

India has taken a sideswipe at Iran during the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, the Wall Street Journal reports.

India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech, in front of leaders from developing nations, has a reproaching undertone, reiterating “democratic and pluralistic order” and the necessity of addressing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Iran’s nuclear program has been condemned by Western countries which, have imposed sanctions to put pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Tehran claims its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at research. India, an emerging nuclear state, said it supports the right of all nations, including Iran, to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

India considers Iran as a possible ally in international affairs while Iran sees India as a crucial trade partner. Iran exported $13.5 billion to India, while India exports $2.4 billion. As an emerging economic powerhouse, India relies on crude oil. The two countries agreed on using rupees for India’s payments, which Iran could use to buy goods such as wheat and tea. However, deeper ties with Iran could put India at risk of US sanctions.