The India-Iran-Pakistan Triad: Comprehending the Correlation of Geo-economics and Geopolitics

Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Stuti Bhatnagar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Historically, India’s policy on Iran has been a balancing act between securing its interests as a counterweight to Pakistan, and ensuring its continued partnership with the US and other regional players. Yet confusion in India’s Iran policy became evident when Iran’s nuclear program began to draw international attention in the 1990s. More recently, India has attempted to reach out to Iran, reigniting trade relations and initiating new plans. Growing IndoIran relations are however a worrying sign for Islamabad, which is attempting a simultaneous expansion of ties with Tehran while continuing to resolve outstanding disputes. The central argument of this paper is that India’s relations with Iran are best understood through the prism of the intertwining of geo-economic and geopolitical considerations. Analysis has often separated these two factors, but there is evidence that a synergy exists – and that it is particularly visible when the Pakistani element is introduced. Often emphasising historical and cultural affinity, India and Pakistan have each sought politically and economically viable relations with Iran. Yet their bilateral political calculations and the current economic challenges have prompted a nuanced policy based on a careful balancing of geo-economics and geopolitics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)517-536
    JournalAsian Studies Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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