US army kills Iranian Commander Soleimani: India’s Concerns

On January 3, 2020, the US army killed Iran’s most powerful military commander General Qasem Soleimani. He was killed at Baghdad airport.

Highlights

In a drone strike held by the US force at Baghdad airport, the Iranian Commander was killed along with other Iran supported militia heads. Under his leadership Iran had expanded its military presence in Syria and Iraq.

India’s Concerns

The region where the air strike was held is an extended neighborhood that houses 7 million Indians. These Overseas Citizens residing in Iran send valuable foreign remittance. India is also worried about the impact of the tensions on international fuel prices that soared by 4% on the very same day.

India is not purchasing oil from Iran at present. In May 2019, India stopped purchasing oil from Iran following US sanctions. However, unrest in the region will impact the oil imports from Saudi Arabia. This is because most of the imports to India from Saudi Arabia takes place through Strait of Hormuz controlled by Iran. Saudi Arabia is the second largest oil supplier of India after Iraq. In 2018-19, Saudi Arabia supplied 40.33 million tons of crude oil.

Also, the tensions could impact India’s trade with the region. India’s trade with the region now stands at 78 billion USD. The trade in the region is predominantly with the Gulf Cooperation Members that includes Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

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