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Day 51 – Q 3. How do global sanctions operate? How does it affect India’s interests? Comment in the light of US sanctions against Iran.

3. How do global sanctions operate? How does it affect India’s interests? Comment in the light of US sanctions against Iran.

वैश्विक प्रतिबंध कैसे संचालित होते हैं? यह भारत के हितों को कैसे प्रभावित करता है? ईरान के खिलाफ अमेरिकी प्रतिबंधों के आलोक में टिप्पणी करें।


International sanctions are political and economic decisions that are part of diplomatic efforts by countries, multilateral or regional organizations against states or organizations either to protect national security interests, or to protect international law, and defend against threats to international peace and security.


Sanctions are imposed by United Nations Security Council or individual country.

  • According to the Charter of the United Nations, only the UN Security Council has a mandate by the international community to apply sanctions that must be complied with by all UN member states. They serve as the international community’s most powerful peaceful means to prevent threats to international peace and security or to settle them.
  • Unilateral sanctions are imposed by individual countries in furtherance of their strategic interests which can range between coercive diplomatic efforts, economic warfare, or as preludes to war.

There are several types of sanctions: Economic sanctions, Diplomatic sanctions, Military sanctions, Sport sanctions.

US sanctions against Iran:

United States withdrew from Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. These sanctions are mainly on economic front like restriction on Iran’s purchase of US currency, Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals and the sale to Iran of auto parts, commercial passenger aircraft, and related parts and services. It makes difficult for companies to conduct business in Iran. It also restricts other nations’ trade relation with Iran. In a way nation is isolated globally on economic front and this is likely to create crisis in a country.

How US sanctions against Iran affect India’s interest:

  • Compulsion to act in line with US sanctions undermines nation’s sovereignty in conducting its foreign affairs.
  • Since over 17% of India’s oil imports are from Iran sanctions necessitate India to diversify its oil market and may lead to increased dependency on Gulf nations given their geographical proximity.
  • Potential rise in oil prices and its negative impact on Indian economy (more dollar needed to pay for oil thus weakening rupee) as decline in oil exports from Iran is likely to cause demand-supply mismatch,
  • Bilateral relation with Iran may get affected. It is important for India to have friendly relation with Iran given its strategic location in Indian Ocean region, for economic resources like oil & Natural gas and to pursue India’s extended neighbourhood policy which aims to improve connectivity with Central Asian nations.
  • Arms race in the region may get renewed posing threat to peace and stability in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR).


Such international scenarios bring back focus on the need to achieve energy security of nation by diversifying oil market, building strategic reserves and on the need to push domestic production through appropriate policies. As a rising power, India also needs to maintain strategic autonomy in foreign affairs so as to achieve stable bilateral relation with countries.

Best answer: Arvind Senta

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