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Why India Refused To Join The Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021?

Hello defence lovers! Recently the Navy clarified that India is not going to participate in the Iran-Russia Naval exercise that is being conducted in the northern Indian ocean. This exercise is also being called as Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021. There were reports that China was also invited to join it. In this article, we are going to discuss why India refused to join this Iran-Russia Naval.

Iran-Russia-Syria-Iraq Coalition

Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq have an alliance with each other. Under this alliance, these countries share intelligence and also deal with matters related to terrorism. This coalition is also referred to as the “4+1” coalition and the +1 stands for Hezbollah (of Lebanon). Although on paper this alliance is for dealing with terrorism and intelligence sharing, in reality, this is an anti-US geopolitical alliance that was founded by Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian General who was killed in a drone strike last year.

India has distanced itself from this alliance ever since its formation in 2015, as it is an anti-US alliance. However, China has become a strong supporter of this alliance. Probably that is why China was also invited to the Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021. India has always kept it away from middle east politics. Thus refusing to join this exercise is not surprising.

Uninvited Sanction

Though Iran is a strategic partner of India, India has never engaged in any military exercises with Iran. The obvious reason is the US sanctions. India is already anticipating US Sanctions for purchasing S 400 air defence systems. Engaging in any military exercise with Iran might invite unwanted sanctions from the US. Under Donald Trump, the US had unilaterally pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and imposed tones of sanctions. Due to these sanctions, India is not able to purchase oil from Iran and the Charbahar project has also been halted. Now Joe Biden is expected to renegotiate the nuclear deal, but that has not been done yet. Thus India cannot take any unnecessary risk.

Saudi Arabia

India Saudi Arabia relations are at its peak. Recently PM Narendra Modi was awarded the highest civilian award of Saudi Arabia. Indian military will also be deployed in Saudi Arabia for a military exercise in the near future. Iran and Saudi Arabia have an age old rivalry and several countries liek Yemen has become the victim of this rivalry. thus participating in any military exercise with Iran might lead to some cracks in the India Saudi Arabia relations. India imports most of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia hence the relations with Saudi Arabia is more important than participating in Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021.

Involvement of the Chinese Navy

The Chinese Navy was also invited to this Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021. After a year long standoff and the Galwan valley incidents at least we Indians cannot indulge in with any military exercise with such a country with whom our 20 brave heart soldier died fighting like heroes.

So these were the reasons why Indian Navy cannot participate in the Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021. Although it was quite surprising when the news came from some of the leading media houses that Indian Navy is going to join it.


Sheershoo Deb

I am a defense aspirant preparing to be an officer in the prestigious Indian armed forces. Earning the prestigious blue uniform is my dream.

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