India-Iran Rail Project on the Skids

In his recent WPR piece on the IPI pipeline project, Siddarth Srivastava examined India’s shifting calculus on engaging Iran, now that its nuclear deal with the U.S. has been approved by the NSG and the U.S Congress. Interesting to see that the same difficulties plaguing the IPI are present in a rail project an Indian consortium was developing in Iran as well. Also worth noting is that the country waiting in the wings should India fail to back the project in both cases is China.

It’s easy to overlook this little detail, but under normal circumstances, revolutionary communist regimes and revolutionary Islamic regimes make odd bedfellows. Could it be — as an Ecuadoran economist who I accompanied into a tropical village to teach peasant farmers the laws of supply and demand put it more than ten years ago — that the Age of Revolution is over?

The problem with the facile use of Cold War terminology is that it blinds us to the fact that just about everyone wants in from the Cold. The cattle trading won’t be easy, but all the state actors have now bought into the system at this point. Something to keep in mind: The ability to get along with as many people as possible will soon become a more accurate measure of influence than the ability to form coalitions that isolate one or another actors. You read it here first.

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