Tabnak website, affiliated with the Secretary of the State Exigency Council Mohsen Rezaii, wrote on February 12th: “In the last few years, parallel to the ratcheting up of sanctions against Iran, India was one of the countries that immensely benefited as it continued its economic relations with Iran, especially by importing Iranian oil. Nonetheless, in an unfriendly act, the Indian government has recently deprived Iran of one of its important diplomatic advantages.”
Tabnak reports that in February, it was declared that the Indian government was planning to expand the list of foreign countries that benefit from receiving visas. From now on, citizens from 180 different countries can receive visas as soon as they cross the Indian border. Before only 11 countries were receiving this benefit.
India’s Minister of Planning and Parliamentary Affairs, who made the decision to blacklist Iran, said that the main objective behind the decision is to attract tourists to the country. He said: “This will be done irrespective of any reciprocal act by other countries.”
The act of India placing Iran in its blacklist will hurt India’s own interests. The Indian economy has experienced increasing positive growth rate in recent years; much of this growth is due to Iran. Iran is among the principal customers of Indian rice and soya and is also an important exporter of oil to this country.
On February 16th, Javan Online Website, affiliated with the IRGC, posted an article titled “Iran’s Options in Responding to India’s Unfriendly Attitude”, which stated: “A palpable option in this case is to ramp down cooperation with New Delhi in a country such as Afghanistan and by redirecting cooperation to other countries that can replace India such as China. Selecting such an option, especially while extremist groups in Afghanistan pose a serious challenge to Indian presence, is of importance. It should be noted that previously the Taliban had challenged the Indian government on many occasions by dispatching or threatening to dispatch forces to Kashmir.”