South Asia Crisis: Effects on the Middle East Page: 4 of 6
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1994, Iran and Pakistan held ten days of joint naval exercises, which included joint
submarine operations. Another account suggests that Pakistan transferred an
undetermined number of midget submarines to Iran in the early 1990s.7
India. Iranian officials have repeatedly talked of forging a strategic relationship
with India, but no such relationship has yet emerged. Military contacts have been at a
relatively low level and confined to specific issues. In 1993, facing a declared Clinton
Administration policy of isolating Iran, then President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said
that India (and China) were Iran's natural partners in a potential coalition to blunt
American international hegemony.' In April 1995, then President Rafsanjani visited New
Delhi, partially upstaging a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. However, in
part because Iran has always viewed Muslim Pakistan as a more natural ally than Hindu
India, no strategic relationship between India and Iran emerged from the Rafsanjani visit.
In addition, Iran has become increasingly dependent on China for technology and
weapons, and closer relations with India - a rival of China - could have complicated
Iran's ties to China.
The Rafsanjani visit resulted in only minor pledges of military cooperation. During
the visit, India reportedly agreed to help Iran maintain the three Kilo-class submarines it
was receiving from Russia. In 1994, India's navy, which fields eight Kilos, helped Iran
overcome some problems with the batteries in the first two Kilos it received.9 India
reportedly also agreed to Iranian requests to help upgrade Iran's communications
equipment and maintain combat aircraft and ground armor acquired from Russia.10
However, India has not been identified as a supplier to Iran of additional T-72 tanks,
which Iran requested and which India manufactures under Russian license.
India has apparently provided some WMD technology to Iran, but not on a large
scale and apparently not in the nuclear field. Then State Department spokesman Nicholas
Burns said in April 1995 that there were no indications that India had a nuclear
relationship with Iran. No reports have surfaced since to contradict that statement,
although in February 1996, Russia, China, Iran, and India set up a research foundation to
adapt nuclear power for commercial uses. One press report in early 1995 said that Indian
companies (Tata Consulting, Transpek, and Rallis India) were helping Iran complete a
chemical weapons complex, using some German technology." The press report was
confirmed to some extent by a June 1997 unclassified Central Intelligence Agency report
on worldwide proliferation. According to the report, prepared biannually under
' Eisenstadt, Michael. "Dual Bomb Blasts in South Asia: Implications for the Middle East."
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Policywatch #318. June 1, 1998.
8 "Iran Talks of Bid For New Alliances." New York Times, September 26, 1993. P.9.
9 "Iran Cultivates Ties With India in Military, Business Ventures." Washington Times, June 21,
" Dettner, Jamie. "Tehran Building Deadly Gas Plant." Washington Times, January 30, 1995.
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South Asia Crisis: Effects on the Middle East, report, June 5, 1998; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815761/m1/4/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.