عنوان مقاله [English]
During the Cold War, India adhered to the non-alignment strategy and got away from the two-bloc rivalries in Warsaw Pact and the NATO. But after the collapse of the Soviet, by activating its geopolitical capacities, this country has not only become an emerging power of the 21 century, but also by using strategy of globalization, has put convergence with international powers including NATO on its agenda. The relation of India and NATO and its impact on the national security of the Iran is the subject of the present article. The authors tried to answer this question: What is the effect of the expansion of the fields of cooperation between India and NATO on Iran’s national security? Hypothesis of the article is that by partnership with India as an emerging economic and technological power in the South Asia region, NATO is seeking security and expanding hegemony in the region with the aim of controlling Iran and China. This article has used a descriptive-analytical method. Also the authors have used library resources for data collection. The findings show that participation of NATO and India in three areas of the subject, environment and level simultaneously creates opportunities and threats for Iran’s national security.
Key words: NATO, India, Geopolitic, Convergence, Iran
During the Cold War, India adhered to the non-alignment strategy and got away from the two-bloc rivalries in Warsaw Pact and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). But after the collapse of the Soviet Union and change of the international environment, by activating its geopolitical capacities, this country has not only become an emerging power of the twenty-first century, but also by using strategy of globalization, has put convergence with superior international powers including NATO on its agenda. The relation of India and NATO and its impact on the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the subject of the present article. The authors tried to answer this question: What is the effect of the expansion of the fields of cooperation between India and NATO on Iran’s national security? Hypothesis of the article is that “by strengthening of strategic cooperation and partnership in the South Asia region with India as an emerging economic and technological power, NATO is seeking security and expanding hegemony in the region with the aim of controlling Iran and China.” This article has used a descriptive-analytical method. Also the authors have used library, internet, and media resources for data collection. The findings show that participation of NATO and India in three areas of the subject, environment and level simultaneously creates opportunities and threats for Iran’s national security.
2- Research methodology
This is a fundamental research whose data have been collected using library and Internet resources, media, and NATO documents. The method of analysis in this research is qualitative analysis due to its descriptive-analytical nature. Theoretical framework of the research is written based on the new security concept of NATO for the second decade of the twenty-first century and the subject of convergence.
If the relation of India and NATO is divided into three parts of the environment, level and subject, then some important dimensions of this relation will be clear that can affect the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The relation of India and NATO affects the environment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in far and near borders including Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Russia and Central Asia. If close relation between India and NATO in Afghanistan provides stability and security to this country, it can be an opportunity for Iran’s national security. But at the same time promoting India’s political, economic and cultural approaches as a model of Western democracy and liberal democracy in the region will be one of the most important threats that the Islamic Republic of Iran will face with it. On the other hand, if the relation of India and NATO leads to the mediation of NATO and especially the United States in the relation of India and Pakistan, it will not only solve one of the most important historical problems of this geographic region, but will also lead to security and peace in Pakistan, which is directly related to interests and national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Now the political instability in Pakistan and the historical disagreements of India and Pakistan, which have led to armed peace between these two countries, are potential threats to Iran given the nuclear weapons of both countries, and especially the presence of numerous jihadist extremist groups in Pakistan. Finally, the growth of relations between NATO and India will provide an opportunity for India to expand its presence in the Central Asia more than before, because not only NATO and most Western organizations are pushing for promotion of democracy and free market approaches in the Central Asia, and in the meantime the best option is an Eastern democracy and successful economic system like India, but also India’s presence in Central Asia will be a major obstacle to the influence of the China, Japan, Russia and even Iran in this region. The presence of India on behalf of Western countries in Central Asia is not only a serious obstacle to the effective presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this region due to differences in political, economic, security and cultural perspectives, but also in practice prevents many geopolitical opportunities of Iran like transit and traffic.
Also, the relations between India and NATO on the level affect the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran; the convergence of the two sides, which began in the fields of economics, military exercises, and logistics, nowadays is expanded to the security, intelligence, military and political dimensions, and the growth of this trend will add new dimensions to this convergence; the above mentioned cooperation continues strenuously. In this regard, Iran’s interests and national security will undoubtedly be endangered by the various dimensions existing at the level of relations between India and NATO. In this context, given the contrast between the interests and goals of Iran and NATO and numerous grounds of convergence between NATO and India, the growth of relations between these two actors will jeopardize the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Obviously, in case of membership of India in NATO or the official joining of this country in one of programs or plans of NATO, the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be endangered more than ever, because by these measures not only the territory of NATO formally enters the eastern borders of Iran, but also continuous cooperation of India to NATO as one of the main priorities for NATO membership or one of its plans will impose numerous political, security, economic and ... damages on the country. Moreover, NATO attempts to highlight differentiation points between India and Iran and to introduce Iran as a threatening country for the region and the world. This is a strategy that has been specifically emphasized in some of declarations of NATO.
Selection of numerous geopolitical strategies, including globalization and development of neighborhood by India, and geopolitical strategies of presence outside the region and participation with emerging powers by NATO have made these two actors close partners in the second decade of the twenty-first century. The broad change in India’s approaches to foreign policy and new ideas of NATO about strategic concepts have provided the grounds for convergence of NATO and India, and both sides have entered into a new era of strategic relations in the form of convergence and participation. In the present article the authors have tried to examine these relations. It was said that although during the Cold War the immediate impact of the geopolitical factors had made the relations between India and NATO to be divergent, but with change in grand strategy of the two actors after the Cold War, nowadays these geopolitical factors again have caused convergence to be the most important characteristic of the relations between India and NATO. Although India has no relation with NATO in the form of formal membership or formal presence in strategic plans of NATO, but development of cooperation with NATO in the areas of combating terrorism and extremism, security of Afghanistan, security of energy, countering piracy, controlling China, presence in Central Asia and ..., are signs of formalizing this relation in the future. In this regard, the present article has examined the effects of this convergence on the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran and by introducing the relations of India and NATO in three main areas of the subject, environment and level, has described these areas. It was said that, by focus on the close relations of NATO and India, in addition to the many threats that can be conceived of because of the conflict between discourses of the Islamic Republic of Iran and NATO, the opportunities of this convergence should not be neglected.
At the end, it is suggested that: 1) The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran should attach importance to the presence of NATO in all of the maritime and territorial borders of Iran, because this presence undoubtedly undermines the national security of Iran due to the conflict between discourses of NATO and Iran. Also by formal dialogues, scientific conferences and programs, and … the authorities of Iran can use capacities of India and other formal and informal partners of NATO that Iran has a better relationship with them. Instead of the strategies of silence or opposition, In the dialogues and conferences Iranian officials can talk with these countries about expansionist policies of NATO in the Southwest Asia and by using other capacities like Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a centralized and coherent strategic management can compete with NATO; and (2) by using existing opportunities and policies and by extracting and focusing on the needs and commonalities with India in bilateral and regional relations, authorities of Iran can prevent official membership of India in NATO.
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