Skip to main content

Iran, India eye closer cooperation amid tensions with Pakistan

Rising tensions between Iran and Pakistan is pushing decision-makers in Tehran and New Delhi closer to each other, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the region.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) during a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi - RC1353D19310

Two separate terrorist attacks in Iran and India last month - both perpetrated by Pakistan-based Islamist groups - have accelerated the ongoing convergence of Tehran and New Delhi. The first attack took place Feb. 13 in Iran’s Zahedan province, claiming the lives of 27 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. On Feb. 14, in Kashmir's Pulwama, a suicide car bomb killed 40 members of the Central Reserve Police Forces. The attack in India was attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed, and the Iranian attack to Jaish ul-Adl.

On Feb. 16, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and both agreed “on close cooperation to combat terrorism in the region,” per Araghchi’s tweet. But is Tehran really considering shifting its foreign policy in the subcontinent to ally with India against Pakistan? And will Iran side with India over Pakistan on the Kashmir issue and wider security issues?

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.