In the UN halls of power, one hears a lot of whispers about the ascent of the BRIC, or BRICSA as it has now become – Brazil, Russia, India, China and the newest member, South Africa. While the power of alliances such as these have been in evidence during the global conferences of the UN, the union has been effectively devoid of political dynamics, preferring to flex its muscles on the all important economic front in negotiations such as post-Doha and climate change. This was true until Iran. The BRIC (one can exclude South Africa for the moment as it is protecting multiple issues of concern to the African continent) have come out on their own political platform in the mounting debate against Iran: Russia and China have threatened to veto any resolution advocating intervention in Iran and vetoed intervention in Syria; India is withstanding the pressure to cancel huge oil trade with Iran, re-negotiating payment terms instead to circumvent stringent US financial sanctions on trade with that country. China continues without interruption to buy Iranian crude. While not coordinated as an effort, it is the first real manifestation of Russia, China and India actively pursuing a parallel political agenda, one that is independent of and contrary to the diktats of the US and the West. Does this mean that we are at the threshold of a new era of activism?
The car bomb hitting an Israeli official car in New Delhi this week has put increased pressure on New Delhi to pick a side. But is it that simple? No. Israel and India have had a very close and collaborative relationship on a host of issues including trade, military and intelligence for at least two decades and now India is in an active rapprochement with the US. What I know is that India values above all, its foreign and domestic policy independence and will NEVER compromise that for the gain of a few dollars. Neither is it clear who really could be behind the two bombings in Georgia and India; frankly, they are too similar to the bombings of Iranian Nuclear scientists earlier this year at a time when Iran most needed them and could not have been responsible for killing their own golden eggs. A proper investigation has to be carried out and then conclusions drawn. I frankly also believe that the timing of the car bombings is too convenient, at a time when Washington and others, or Tel Aviv wants to put pressure for military action against Iran. Smacks too much of – well – planning! I hope that India will investigate and also consider how to move in the case begin currently hatched against Iran. Valid or not, India has a lot to gain and very little to loose to maintain an open dialogue with the despots in Tehran and therefore give the world, an effective “track two” for eventual negotiations in the future. Like Turkey can be a key negotiator in Syria, India is a viable negotiator for Iran.
It would be interesting to see this trend develop and see how Russia, China and India handle the Near East from now, and approach other issues such as Libya reconstruction in UN bodies such as the Peacebuilding Commission.
Meanwhile, the need to move forward with negotiation of a ceasefire in Syria is more imperative everyday!
Tags: BRIC, car bombings, China, financial sanctions, global conferences, India, Iran, Israel, Libya reconstruction, neogtiations, Peacebuilding commission, Russia, Security Council, Syria, Turkey, UN, US