The Ukraine war and consequent sanctions against Russia by the US-led West have plunged the latter into an economic crisis marked by acute energy shortage, raising fears of a dark and cold winter.

Allies and friends together having failed to overcome the deficits caused by the war, the West is now striving to revive the nuclear deal (JCPOA) with Iran, which President Donald Trump had jettisoned.

The West is in dire need of Iranian oil for economic sustenance. In such a situation, a confident Iran, all too aware of its strengths, sees itself rising as a power that can, in partnership with Russia and China, drive regional cooperation in the East. This is the context in which Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, described Iran, Russia and China as the three major independent powers in Asia that stand against the expansionism of the United States and the West.

This is a development of significance for India given the power shifts being anticipated in the prevailing world order. More so, as India finds positive mention in the interview in which Velayati spoke of Iran, China and Russia resisting the US and the West. Velayati’s interview was originally given to the Ayatollah’s website

Velayati’s wide-ranging interview is certain to interest sections of the Indian establishment that valued him as a friend in need who proved to be a friend indeed. In 1994, when India under Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao faced the threat of being disgraced with UN sanctions, on the basis of an OIC resolution in the UN Human Rights Commission, for rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, it is Iran that came to the Government of India’s rescue.

Velayati, Iran’s longest-serving foreign minister (1981 to 1997), was the interlocutor who cast aside all protocol to arrange an unscheduled unearthly-hour meeting in Teheran for Rao’s special emissary with then President Hashmi Rafsanjani and Majlis Speaker Nateq Nouri. The ailing envoy, Dinesh Singh, who had been dragged out of AIIMS in the middle of the night returned in the special aircraft with an assurance from President Rafsanjani to Prime Minister Rao “that Iran will do all it can do to ensure that no harm comes to India”.

Thus was the OIC move to table the resolution killed, thanks to Velayati. Will he succeed as a game-changer again, this time in the new great game that is now unravelling?

Source » wionews