As one of the founders of the original Non-Aligned Movement, India has often found itself standing between opposing camps, trying to keep from becoming entangled in the disputes that divide them. In the current environment, however, with a globalized economy and a shrinking, interconnected world, the feat of staying out of international conflicts poses especially complicated and potentially costly challenges. That is most evident as India tries to navigate its important trade relationship with Iran, while continuing to expand its valuable commercial, diplomatic and strategic links with the U.S. and Israel.
The difficulty of maintaining relations simultaneously with bitter geopolitical antagonists became dramatically clear a year ago, when someone attached a bomb to the car of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi. The explosion injured a driver and two bystanders, and it nearly killed the Israeli diplomat, who was hospitalized with serious liver and spinal injuries. Israel immediately blamed Iran, pointing to a series of attacks against Israelis around the world, several of which had been linked to agents connected to Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. But the Indian government took a diplomatically measured stance and said it would allow the investigation to unfold.
Back then, I predicted India would come under increasing pressure to choose between the two sides, and that the government in New Delhi would do its best to preserve links with both Iran and Israel, not to mention the U.S.