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India seeks to strengthen relationships with Iran and Russia as US-made chaos threatens New Delhi

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif will both be in New Delhi on Tuesday and will meet — albeit separately — with their Indian counterpart, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Lavrov and Zarif will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will no doubt be keen to discuss how India can balance its vital interests in the Middle East in the face of increasing tensions between the US and Iran.

Washington’s recent killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani came as a shock to Delhi, occurring just one month after Washington hosted a two-plus-two meeting between both countries’ foreign and defense ministers — in which no indication was given of what was to come, despite the move being one which threatens India’s domestic and foreign interests.

Given that India — a ‘Major Defense Partner’ of the US — has the world’s second-largest Shia population, and operates Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port, Washington’s decision not to warn New Delhi about Soleimani’s impending assassination can be seen as a slap in the face. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to call Pakistani Chief of Staff Gen. Qamar Bajwa within hours of the strike only served to rub salt in the wound. Meanwhile, crowds chanted anti-American and pro-Iran slogans in Kargil, a part of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state.

Even Donald Trump, who never tires of referring to Modi as his “good friend,” didn’t bother to ring the Indian prime minister. In a final........

© RT.com