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Browbeating India on Iran undermines talk of 'strategic partnership.'
According to Indiana University's Ganguly, India's move to boost trade ties with Iran in the midst of Clinton's visit sent a “very bad” signal in that context, suggesting that New Delhi's response to American policies will continue to be a kneejerk no to preserve a “hackneyed” idea of India's strategic autonomy.
But insiders from India's foreign policy establishment like former ambassador Sikri argue that India's “feisty” response to US pressure on Iran marked a maturation of the strategic partnership, rather than its decay.
“There is a genuine friendship with the United States, a desire for closer ties, through trade, commerce, people-to-people relationships, which makes for a very deep, across the board Indo-US partnership,” Sikri said. “Even when government-to-government relations are not the best, these sustain it. We can have a dialogue with the US that enables us to have a candid exchange of views without derailing the relationship.”